Defining Who is the Son of God and Proving His Eternal Existence
Over two-thousand years ago in the small village of Bethlehem, made famous as the boyhood home of King David (1 Sam 16:1, 17:12, Luke 2:4), a baby was born. Only a few miles from Jerusalem, the epicenter of the Jewish religious culture of the time, this baby would grow up amidst swirling controversy regarding who he was. Who is this child? He would be called many things, however, one title condemned him for blasphemy by the High Priest Caiaphas and the Council of scribes and elders who arrested and tried him and led to his execution (Mt 26:37, Mt 26:62-66, Jn 19:7). The question came from Caiaphas, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus answered directly, “You have said so.”You have stated the truth. Caiaphas tore his clothes – a forbidden act by the High Priest – as a display of extreme grief for blasphemy. Jesus claimed to be the Son of God and he was executed for it.
We have the advantage on this side of the cross, two-thousand years later, with the aid of Holy Scripture to see that Jesus was in fact the Son of God (Jn 1:1-14) and was wrongly executed by the council in a purely legal point of view. However, Jesus is God and his mission was to come to earth and be executed as a sacrifice for the sins of the children of God (Ephesians 1-2, Phil 2:5-8, Col 1:11-22, 1 Pet 1:2). Although we now have great hope in Christ, the Son of God, controversy still swirls around who he is. Several religions that claim the name of Jesus do not consider him to be God, such as the LDS and Jehovah Witnesses, but they consider Him to be a created being. Within the orthodox Christian circles Jesus is known to be God, but there is disagreement on whether or not he has been God for all eternity. Did the Son of God exist eternally, outside time and space, as the Son before he was born in the form of man before born as the baby Jesus, born of Mary? Or was it at the incarnation that Jesus came into being by becoming man generated by the Father?
I propose that the evidence proving the Son of God’s pre-existence before the incarnation is overwhelming and inarguable for not only LDS and Jehovah Witnesses, but also for all within the Christian faith. Before proposing the evidence supporting the pre-existence of the Son of God, a brief description of the opposition is in order.
OPPOSITION TO THE PRE-EXISTENCE OF THE SON OF GOD
The opposition to who Jesus is and what it means for Him to be the Son of God has been argued since Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Many false doctrines were found in the early church, towards which Jesus’ beloved disciple John wrote his entire Gospel and epistles to refute (John 20:31), the Apostle Paul worked diligently to correct through his many epistles and missionary journeys (Rom 8:1-4, Col 1:15-20), as well as Peter and the writer of Hebrews (1 Peter 1:20, 2 Peter 1:16-21, Heb 1:1-3). The eternality of the Son, as the second person of the Trinity was so hotly contested a few hundred years after the incarnation that the Nicene Council developed the Nicene Creed to establish a proper view on the Son and to distance themselves from the modalistic theology of Sabellianism and the argument by the Arians of the day that insisted that the Son of God was a created being.
Centuries later new religions arose which claimed the name of Jesus Christ, yet they did not attribute deity or pre-existence to him. In the early 1800’s, Joseph Smith founded the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, claiming that the Son of God was merely a created being and Lucifer’s brother. In the 1870’s Jehovah Witnesses arose who teach Jesus is no more than the archangel Michael, another created being. The LDS and the Jehovah Witness religions are rightly consider by professing Christians to be cultic and not a denomination within the protestant faith.
Another high profile stream of incorrect teaching regarding the Son of God has invaded the charismatic denominations. In particular, the televangelist T.D. Jakes with his “oneness” Pentecostal faith, author of over 30 books many of which have been on the NY Times Bestseller List, has had a worldwide stage for many years and teaches that Jesus is the Father, Jesus is the Son, and Jesus is the Holy Spirit and that the doctrine of the Trinity is in fact a polytheistic heresy. Although no credible theologian would give Jakes theology thirty seconds of consideration, the average Christian is easily fooled by the TV shows, bestselling books, and charismatic personality. These fallacies are as important to refute as what the Fathers of the Nicene Creed were fighting against 1700 years ago.
More interesting even yet, and much closer to home, is the change that John MacArthur has transitioned through only a decade ago. MacArthur, one of America’s greatest teachers and preachers, released an article in 2001 stating:
“…I want to state publicly that I have abandoned the doctrine of ‘incarnational sonship.’ Careful study and reflection have brought me to understand that Scripture does indeed present the relationship between God the Father and Christ the Son as an eternal Father-Son Relationship. I know longer regard Christ’s sonship as a role He assumed in His incarnation.”
MacArthur’s abandonment of this doctrine through careful study of the Scriptures signals to us that there is a vital need for careful study and reflection on the Scriptures by every believer, even for every respected teacher, preacher, and theologian. Let us now turn to carefully considering what the Bible says about the relationship between God the Father and God the Son.
EVIDENCE OF THE PRE-EXISTENCE OF THE SON OF GOD
Ten proofs regarding the pre-existence of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and second person in the Trinity need careful consideration.
Proof (1): I Am. The most basic proof of Jesus Christ’s pre-existence as the Son of God, and an assumption that must be made at the outset, is his divinity. Jesus being fully God implies his eternality. We see from the “I am” (egō eimi) statements found in Jesus’ own words, that He is claiming to be equal to God, the Father. In chapter 8 of John’s gospel, Jesus provides a direct claim to deity and pre-existence through the most notable “I am” statement. Jesus tells the Jews, “If anyone who keeps my word, he will never taste death,” (Jn 8:52, ESV). The Jews fire back at Jesus by asking if he is greater than Abraham. After all, Abraham died and so did all the other prophets of God. So how can this man claim to have power over death? How can he speak with authority regarding Abraham as if he knows him? Jesus, they argue isn’t even fifty years old, how can he have seen Abraham? Jesus then makes the claim to deity and pre-existence: “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am,” (Jn 8:58, ESV).
Jesus’ use of “I am” harkens the Jewish hearer back to the scene of Moses and the flame of fire that appears from the bush in Exodus 3. God chooses this title, “I Am,” to reveal to Moses who he is. “I am” is a name of revelation and Jesus uses it here to reveal who he is to the Jews. Thomas Schreiner expertly points out in his New Testament Theology, “I am” is reserved for Yahweh. Christ is revealing to his hearers, in the same way the Father did with Moses, that he is God and he existed before Abraham. This claim of deity was blasphemous to the Jews and they picked up stones to throw at him.
Let us take the “I am” statement further through a very simple analysis of the grammar and the distinctive order of the words. The use of “was” in reference to Abraham is a simple past tense meaning he had a beginning; he became or came to be. This is contrasted with Jesus’ use of “I am” (egō eimi), which is present tense in the form of “I myself am.” Before Abraham came into being, Jesus eternally existed as God.
Proof (2): The Alpha and the Omega. Robert Culver, makes a powerful impact within his discussion of the person and work of Jesus Christ. In the book of Revelation, the Apostle John reveals two inseparable facts regarding the person Jesus Christ, that come from the mouth of Jesus Christ when he appears before John. In Revelation, Christ is “the one who ‘was dead’, and ‘pierced’, yet also the Alpha and Omega, beginning and ending, who is, was, and is yet to come, ‘the Pantorkrator’” (the almighty) (Rev 1:8, 18). Christ, the God-man, was pierced and died. This was his mission. However, our sacrificial lamb is also the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end. He is without beginning and he is without end. He is the eternal and pre-existent Son of God. As Guthrie simply puts it, “it conceives of the whole span of history in terms of God’s activity. There are no blank periods. This concept ties in closely with the concept of God as Creator.”
Proof (3): Voluntary Humiliation. The apostle Paul, in his inspired writing to the believers in Philippi, explains how the preexistent Christ actually stripped off his robes of majesty and glory to become humble; to become nothing. The Son of God voluntarily humbled himself, becoming like man, in order to fulfill his mission. To leave the thrones of heaven and the worship of angels and condescend requires infinite humility. The Son of God’s voluntary humiliation logically requires pre-existence.
 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,  who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.(Philippians 2:5-8 ESV)
Some, like Cullman, argue that the Son being in the form of God means that he wasn’t actually God, but had the appearance of God and was the God-man before the incarnation, however, this opinion loses its foundation in verse 7, where Paul explains that the Son of God actually empties himself in order to take the form of a servant in the likeness of man. Emptying himself requires three major truths:
1) He had something in the first place to be emptied,
2) He had consciousness,
3) He had existence before the incarnation.
The Son was not in the form of God-man before the incarnation, he was God – majestic and divine. In order to empty himself, the Son doesn’t not leave his deity behind, but instead the act of emptying was the act of putting on the form of a servant, the likeness of man.
The other foundational argument for the pre-existence of the Son of God in this passage is from the word (harpgmos) translated as “grasped” or in the KJV, “robbery”. The word is defined as seizing, taking, or robbery. Paul is assuming that Jesus was equal with God and that he didn’t need to try to seize or steal equality with God, he is equal with God. He did not “take advantage of or exploit what he already possessed.” The pre-existent Son of God possessed equality with God and humbled himself at the incarnation by putting on the form of man.
Proof (4): He Was Sent. The incarnation of Jesus, as the Son of God, can be argued as an act of creation if we only look at the physical creation and birth of the baby Jesus. However, even shallow study of the scriptures will show that the Son of God was sent to Earth through the incarnation. Sending someone implies logically that this someone existed before they were sent. The same basic argument holds for the Son of God. Jesus, in his prayer to the Father in John 17, explicitly claims existing in heaven before the incarnation:
4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. (Jn 17:4, 5, ESV)
“The glory that I had with you before the world existed.” This claim goes far beyond the incarnation and beyond creation of the world to the place of the beginning of beginnings – the Son was with the Father before everything our minds can imagine. Verse 4 of chapter 17 also classifies the Son’s work as that which he was sent to do by the Father along with:
a) John 3:34 – He who was sent utters the words of the Father,
b) John 5:36-38 – The works that the Father has given me testify to the Father sending me, and the Father who sent me bears witness of me,
c) John 7:29 – He, the Father, sent me,
d) John 11:42 – I said this for those standing around that they might believe that you sent me.
The Apostle John had crystal clear revelation from the Holy Spirit that the Son of God was sent by the Father to Earth for his work and purposes in the God-man for of Jesus. The always encouraging Geerhardus Vos argues strongly with regard to the Trinity and the Angel of the Lord (both discussed in proofs below) that “we must assume that behind the twofold representation there lies a real manifoldness in the inner life of the Deity. If the Angel sent were Himself partaker of Godhead, then He could refer to God as his sender, and at the same time speak as God, and in both cases there would be reality behind it.” The only conclusion available is that the Father sends the eternally pre-existent Son for his work in the midst of man.
Proof 5: The Trinity, Roles and Functions. The purpose of this paper is not to outline the doctrine of the Trinity. The reality of the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is assumed. Within the doctrine of the Trinity we see the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as one God, in three persons, with three roles and functions. A major part of these roles and functions is the nature of the Son’s subordination to the Father. In the previous proof, we see the Son’s voluntarily submission to the purpose, will, and mission of the Father. Now, however we need to examine the subordination structure of the Trinity. This has been and issue that has spanned the centuries and was address well by Samuel Waldron in his book, Modern Exposition of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith. The topic was important enough in the 1680’s to include it in the Confession, and it is important enough still in our generation for further exposition. Waldron cautions the reader to distinguish carefully between three different kinds of subornation:
1) Subordination in the modes of operation,
2) Subordination in the modes of subsistence,
3) Subordination in essence.
Subordination in the modes of operation is the concept that the “God-man”, the incarnate Son, Jesus, is subordinate to the Father in the grand scheme of creation and his redemptive plan for mankind. The Father sends the Son, and the Son does the will of the Father (Jn 3:34, 7:29, 4:34, 14:31).
Secondly, the subordination in the area of subsistence relates to the distinction between the three persons of the Trinity, known as hypostasis. The Father is not the Son or the Holy Spirit, the Son and the Holy Spirit are unique and not the Father. The Son is begotten of the Father and the Spirit proceeds from both. Distinction between the hypostasis is a vital doctrine and strongly proves the pre-existence of Christ as the Son distinct from the Father.
Finally, the third form of subordination Waldron outlined claims that the Father and the Son are different in essence, in their level of Godhood. If the Son and Spirit are subordinate in essence, they are less God than the Father. This form of subordination is not Biblical and should be exposed as a cultic false doctrine reducing the deity of the Son.
Proof 6: The Only Begotten. Much controversy surrounds the passages claiming the Son of God is the only begotten son of God the Father. Begotten can mean born of or created from and when a shallow look is taken it confuses the issue of the Son’s pre-existence. We must eliminate the implication that the Son was created or generated at the incarnation by the Father by examining the confusing passages. For the sake of this paper, only two will be examined but not exhausted. The two passages are: Psalm 2:7 and John 3:16. The Psalmist writes of Adonai, the Lord, sitting in the heavens laughing at those who have set themselves against Him tells of what the LORD – Jehovah, God the Father – has decreed. In verse 7, Jehovah, using father and son language, sets forth his eternal decree: “You are my Son; today I have begotten you.” We see contextually that Jehovah is speaking of the Messiah, the Son of God. On the surface this temporal language, would challenge the pre-existence of the Son. Here, I turn again to John MacArthur where in his article reexamining his position explains that the decree of the Father is eternal and it is reasonable to assume that this passage should be understood as figurative language and not a wooden literal statement.
Moving from the Hebrew figurative language in Psalm 2:7 to the Greek in John 3:16, we see a very similar English translation in many Bibles; however, the intended meaning is different in the original language. The “begotten” terminology occurs several times from the beloved disciple’s pen. The Gospel of John, according to the author, has the intended purpose that the reader would believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing we would have life (John 20:31). The tradition of the KJV’s “…and gave his only begotten Son,” is arguably the most famous passage in scripture but the translation muddies the water if we only look at the KJV. The NASB and many others also translate the Greek word “monogenes” the same way: “only begotten Son.” This is not a clear translation. We can see a better rendering in ESV, which translates “monogenes” as “…gave His only Son.” This subtle distinction does portray the Greek language meaning of the single, unique, one of a kind nature of the Son as intended by the Apostle John. The only, unique, one of a kind Son stands in great contrast to the muddy language of begotten carrying the meaning of procreation or creation. It is highly unlikely, as Dr Guthrie argues, that “monogenes” contains the idea of birth. As related to Christ, the word isn’t pointing to birth, but rather to the idea of uniqueness.
MacArthur adds another interesting piece to the pre-existence puzzle worth noting in regard to begetting with this statement:
“And indeed, there is another, more vital, significance to the idea of “begetting” than merely the origin of one’s offspring. In the design of God, each creature begets offspring “after his kind” (Gen. 1:11-12; 21-25). The offspring bear the exact likeness of the parent. The fact that a son is generated by the father guarantees that the son shares the same essence as the father.”
The Son is not a created being, but he is inseparable from the Father through the Trinity and is of the same essence. In light of MacArthur’s argument: as a dog begets a dog, God the Father would beget God the Son, which is to say that the dog’s begotten is of the same essence and the Father’s begotten is of the same essence.
Proof 7: The Demons Knew Who He Was. When our Lord encountered the demon possessed men in Matthew 8:28-34 and 9:27 and in Luke 4:40-41, we see a common theme. The demons knew who Jesus was and they were afraid of him. They called him the Son of God and the Son of David, both not only messianic titles, but evidence that they knew the Son before in the incarnation. Demons are spiritual beings outside of time and space as we know it and they had no confusion over who Jesus is. Satan, the devil himself, also knew Jesus as the Son of God and did not need to be informed of his true nature like man did. The pre-existence of the Son is the only logical reason why the demons and devil were so familiar with him after the incarnation. In addition, Matthew 1:23 builds structure around the Son’s incarnation: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son and they shall call his name Immanuel, which means God with us.” As a reference to the prophecy of Isaiah, the man Jesus was God in human flesh to fulfill the prophecy. The demons knew Jesus to be Immanuel. If Jesus was the Son and the Son was Immanuel meaning, “God with us”, then the Son is God and we know that God is eternal and pre-existent.
Proof 8: The Angel of the Lord. The story of Samson’s parents in Judges 13 is a fascinating testimony to the pre-existence of the second person in the Trinity, the Son. There are other similar passages in the Old Testament referencing the Angel of the Lord with illusions to the Son of God; however Judges 13 is the most interesting example to examine. Samson’s mother and wife to Manoah was a barren woman. Her plight is not unique in the Bible as God uses barrenness numerous times throughout redemptive history for his purposes. Manoah’s wife was visited by a man of God whose appearance was like that of an Angel of Jehovah. He appeared very awesome she told Manoah later. This Angel’s conversation with Manoah’s wife was very similar to conversations that the Archangel Gabriel had with John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah, and the virgin Mary in Luke chapter 1. It would be a common error to read through Judges 13, see the wording for Angel and never see the subtly that proves the pre-incarnate existence and activity of the Son of God. These subtleties occur in four specific verses and they are as follows: When Manoah asks the Angel if he is the man who spoke to his wife in Judges13:11, the Angel replies with, “I”. In the ESV translation and others the Hebrew word (’ă·nî) is translated as “I am”. The “I am” in Judges 13 is different than the “I AM that I AM” in Exodus 3:14 in that it is a different word; however, the response points to the deity of the one standing before them rather than referring to himself as a messenger of the Lord. This response is not enough on its own, so we must build the case further.
Later in the story from Judges 13, in verse 18, Manoah asks the Angel what his name is and the Angel gives a curious answer. In Luke 1, the angel clearly gives his name as Gabriel and tells how he stands in the presence of God. The Angel in Judges 13, however, asks in reply, “why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?” Again we see a response by the Angel pointing to his deity and his uniqueness. This is no mere angel, but someone special. In the famous passage in Isaiah 9:6 the prophet tells of a child who will be born, a son who will be given and his name is called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” This Angel is referring to himself as the one described by Isaiah later. Manoah sees the truth of who he is and has a response similar to Isaiah’s response when he faces the Lord on His throne in Isaiah 6. In verse 20, Manoah and his wife fall on their faces in worship and fear and in verse 22 Manoah says, “We shall surely die, for we have seen God.” This phenomenal statement emphasizes the point that this Angel is in fact God. They came face to face with God. However, making the leap from this Angel being Jehovah and the Angel being the pre-incarnate Son of God is more difficult. Scripture makes it easy for us though due to two additional passages to finalize this proof.
The Apostle John lays out the undeniable truth of Jesus’ deity and eternal existence in the first chapter of his Gospel. In defining Jesus as the Word of God, and that the Word was God and was with God, he shows how Jesus was the incarnate form of God and the separate but equal Word of God who tabernacles with His creation. To further explain that the Son is a unique person sent by Jehovah in the form of a man, he tells us in 1:18, “No one has ever seen God, The only God, who is at the Father’s side, He has made Him known.” No one has ever seen God, the only God, except the one He made known, who is the Son. No one has ever seen God. This means Manoah and his wife did not see Jehovah, but they clearly saw God as described above. Thus they saw Him whom God made known, the one who was at His side, the Son of God. This logic is further enforced by Judges 13:16: The Angel of the Lord is speaking to Manoah and tells him, “I will not eat your food. But if you prepare a burn offering, then offer it to the LORD.” Manoah confesses that he saw God in verse 22, yet the Angel tells him to offer it to Jehovah. Therefore, since we understand the Angel of the Lord in Judges 13 to be God per the testimony of Manoah and his wife, and God is telling Manoah to prepare his offering to Jehovah, we must assume that the Angel of the Lord here is the Son of God actively working well before the incarnation. Geerhardus Vos provides a succinct summary of the Old Testament references to the Angel of the Lord as pre-incarnate form of the Son and how to deal with the Angel and Jehovah both as God, but also as separate and unique in these passages:
“The problem is how to do justice to both. There is but one way in which this can be done: we must assume that behind the twofold representation there lies a real manifoldness in the inner life of the Deity. If the Angel sent were Himself partaker of Godhead, then He could refer to God as his sender, and at the same time speak as God, and in other cases there would be reality behind it.”
Proof 9: The Agent of Creation. Not only was the Son of God not a created being or a new manifestation at the incarnation, but the complete opposite is true. The Son of God was the agent of creation of the entire universe – whether physical or spiritual. Scripture makes this point clear. Paul lays out in Colossians 1:16 that all things were created by the Son, all things were created through the Son, and all things were created for the Son. There is little room to argue against the pre-existence of the Son when we learn that He was the agent of creation. Logically, all of creation could be set aside for a yet to be created being, however, that yet to be created being would not be able to do the creating or be the conduit of the creation as Paul teaches in verse 16. To continue to emphasize this point John 1 and Hebrews 1 shall be examined.
In the awe inspiring introduction to John’s Gospel, we again learn in John 1:2, as mentioned above, the Word was with God and the Word was God and in verse 3 of the ESV, “all things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.” All things were made through the Word, which is the Son, and not anything was made that wasn’t made without the Word, which is the Son of God. This passage may not make the inner workings of the Father-Son relationship of the Trinity any more comprehensible, but it does continue to enforce the Son’s pre-existence before the incarnation as He was with the Father before time began and was the one through which the entire physical universe and spiritual realm was made.
Finally, the author of Hebrews opens his sermon with the same Son exalting language. Hebrews 1:2 tells of how God the Father has chosen in these last days to speak through His Son and in order to not confuse this Son with any created being he defines the Son with, “…whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world. The Son of God the Father whom is the heir of all things – echoing Colossians 1 that all things were created for the Son – is also the one through whom he created the aion (world) representing eternity and the universe. The Holy Spirit inspired these created authors to pen these words exalting the Son as the pre-existent Son of God who is God and has existed before time began.
Proof 10: The Son on the Throne. The last proof of Biblical evidence in the case of the Son of God’s eternality, pre-existence, and eternal generation is found in a passage that makes our heart worship in praise and makes our body tremble in reverent fear of the eternal Son of God. This is found in Isaiah’s vision of the Lord on the throne.
 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.  Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.  And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”  And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.  And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:1-5 ESV)
The prophet Isaiah comes face-to-face with the Son of God, the Lord (Adonai), on the throne. The majestic Lord sits on the throne and the seraphim around Him sing his praises. “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts!” Holy is Jehovah. Isaiah states in verse 5 that he has seen the King, the LORD (Jehovah) of hosts, and his sin is atoned for by the coal taken from the throne and touched to his lips by the seraphim. Isaiah is at the point of despair and undone in the face of the Lord. However, when the Lord asks, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Isaiah immediately responds, “Here I am! Send me.” The Lord sends him to speak on His behalf regarding the child to be born, the heir to the throne of David, and the one through whom we will be healed by His stripes. The Lord sends Isaiah to proclaim the Christ, the Son is coming.
Logically, this could very well just be God the Father sending Isaiah out to speak of the Son whom is coming at the incarnation and therefore we must look at John 12:36-43 to see the rest of the story. John tells of how the people still did not believe in Jesus in verse 37, which was so that the word of the Prophet Isaiah would come to pass. In verse 41 of chapter 12 John explains Isaiah 6: “Isaiah said these things because he saw His glory and spoke of Him.” We know whom Isaiah spoke of, the Son of God. We also learn here in John 12:41 that the Lord that sent Isaiah was in fact the Son of God sitting on the throne, pre-incarnate and very real.
The Biblical evidence is overwhelming in the case of the eternality and pre-existence of the Son of God. The most wondrous and awe inspiring aspect of the Son’s eternality is the permanence of his Sonship. By looking back into the distant eternal past, we cannot argue against the evidence that He has always existed as the second person in the Trinity and if we look forward into the eternal future we see again that the Son will always be the Son. Right this very minute and until He returns, the Son intercedes on our behalf as an advocate with the Father as a propitiation for our sins, having reconciled us with our creator by His sacrifice. We now and forever have the hope of eternal glory as brothers of the Son as adopted children because He died and rose again and we now eagerly await the resurrection of our bodies, the changing from corrupted to incorruptible in the twinkling of an eye where we will live in glory for the rest of eternity with the eternal Son of God. This is our great hope.
 Matthew 26:63-64, ESV
 John MacArthur importantly notes that tearing one’s clothes in the Jewish culture was a display of deep grief. However, the High Priest was forbidden to tear his clothes, except in the case of blasphemy allowed by the Talmud. MacArthur also points out that Caiaphas’ grief is as phony as the charge of blasphemy is. See John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2007), 90, 26:65.
 See Hank Hanegraaff, Christianity in Crisis (Harvest House Publishers, 1997), 44 & 320.
 See Robert Reymond, A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith (Thomas Nelson, 1998), 324
 See Robert L. Dabney, Systematic Theology (Banner of Truth, 1985), Trinity Chapter, no page number.
 If the Son of God, was the brother of Lucifer, he would be a created being and although existing longer than the earth and humans, he would still be created and not divine and not eternal as this paper argues. Mixing Jesus’ divinity and his eternality disallows any argument that Jesus is an angel. See Hank Hanegraaff, Christianity in Crisis (Harvest House Publishers, 1997), 44 & 320.
 See footnote 6 in regard to Jesus being considered an angel. This argument has no foundation in Biblical study as proved in this paper. See Hank Hanegraaff, Christianity in Crisis (Harvest House Publishers, 1997), 44.
 See Hank Hanegraaf, The Bible Answer Book Volume 2 (J Countryman, 2006), 136-139.
 See John MacArthur, Reexamining the Eternal Sonship of Christ”. (Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Volume 6, no. 1, 2001)
 John 8:52-59
 See Thomas Schreiner, “New Testament Theology (Baker Academic, 2008), 248-249.
 See Thomas Schreiner, “New Testament Theology (Baker Academic, 2008), 253.
 Per Robert Culver’s analysis of the grammar, “’Was’ renders genestahi, second aorist of ginomai (simple past, here), and means he became, he came to be…This phrase marks a timeless existence. If Jesus would have used ‘Before Abraham was, I was,’ it would only express simple priority” and not deity. See Robert Culver, Systematic Theology: Biblical and Historical (Mentor Christian Focus Publishers, 2005), 496.
 See Robert Culver, Systematic Theology: Biblical and Historical (Mentor Christian Focus Publishers, 2005), 496.
 See Donald Guthrie, New Testament Theology (Inter-varsity Press, 1961), 89.
 See Isaiah 6:1-5, Revelation 5.
 Schreiner’s discussion of the word “morphe” translated as “form” is very helpful in understanding what form the Son of God was in before the incarnation. See text and footnotes from Thomas Schreiner, “New Testament Theology” (Baker Academic, 2008), 324-325.
 Schreiner makes major progress in the argument of the pre-existence of Christ in his analysis of this passage. See Thomas Schreiner, “New Testament Theology” (Baker Academic, 2008), 325.
 See Thomas Schreiner, “New Testament Theology” (Baker Academic, 2008), 325.
 See Donald Guthrie, “New Testament Theology” (Inter-Varsity Press, 1981), 314.
 See Geerhardus Vos’ discussion regarding the Angel of the Lord as evidence of the preexistence of Christ. Geerhardus Vos, “Biblical Theology” (Banner of Truth Trust, 1975), 74-75.
 Dr. Waldron correctly argues that subordination in operation and subsistence should not be classified as “Suborninationism”, which is a false doctrine that creates doubt, squeamishness, and avoidance by evangelical teachers today. Waldron suggests that we should not shy away from this important doctrine of the Trinity. See Samuel Waldron, “A Modern Exposition of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith” (Evangelical Press, 1989), 57.
 See Samuel Waldron, “A Modern Exposition of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith” (Evangelical Press, 1989), 57.
 The KJV, NASB, and many others translate “monogenes” in the other New Testament passages, John 1:14, 18, 3:18, and 1 John 4:9 as “begotten” as well.
 See John MacArthur, Reexamining the Eternal Sonship of Christ”. (Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Volume 6, no. 1, 2001).
 See footnote 24.
 See Donald Guthrie, “New Testament Theology” (Inter-Varsity Press, 1981), 313.
 See John MacArthur, Reexamining the Eternal Sonship of Christ”. (Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Volume 6, no. 1, 2001).
 Other examples of the Angel of the Lord worth considering are: the story of Gideon in Judges 6, Hagar in Genesis 16, 22, 24, 31, possibly Numbers 20 as well due to verses 32, 35, and 38.
 Other barren women in the Bible are Abraham’s wife Sarah (Gen 16), Isaac’s wife Rebekah (Gen 25), Jacob’s wife Rachel (Gen 30), Samuel’s mother Hannah (1 Sam 1), David’s wife Michal (2 Sam 6), and John the Baptists mother Elizabeth (Luke 1).
 See Geerhardus Vos’ discussion regarding the Angel of the Lord as evidence of the preexistence of Christ. Geerhardus Vos, “Biblical Theology” (Banner of Truth Trust, 1975), 73.
 See Romans 8:34, Hebrews 7:25, 1 John 2:1, 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
 See 1 Corinthians 15:12-58 Romans 8:14-25, Galatians 4:4-7.