Jesus – The Firstborn of Every Creature

 

Rev 2:13  I know thy works and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas[1] was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

 

Rev 3:8  I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

 

The Son of God has many names. The names given to the Son are really more like titles. They tell us who He is, what He does, and what His place is in God’s order.  We hold fast to these names by giving Him the honor associated with each of them, teaching them to others, and by standing up for them when they are attacked.  We know the names of Christ were under attack early on in the church because Christ spends significant time reminding the churches of Revelation concerning His name and the severity of denying them.

 

We can’t say we know the Son of God and deny His name – any of them.  For example, most who profess Jesus as the Son of God also readily acknowledge Him as the Lamb of God.  Acknowledging this name of Christ means we believe that He is the One God gave to take away the sin of the world.  If someone said, “I believe Jesus is the Son of God, but I don’t believe He died to take away the sin of the world,” that person would be denying Him as the Lamb of God, they would be denying His name.  However, this is just one of His names.  What about others?

That which was from the beginning…1 John 1:1

 

Many of Christ’s names point to His presence in eternity past.  One of His names is the Everlasting Father[2].  We know Him to be the Creator[3].   We should acknowledge Him as the Everlasting Father and Creator.  This is a way of confessing His name.

 

But at what point did Jesus become flesh?  Was the Son only Spirit in eternity past?  Was it only with the virgin birth that He became flesh?  Micah tells us His goings forth have been from old, from everlasting[4].  Look at what the Apostle John says in 1 John 1:1 concerning the Son of God. 

 

1 John 1:1  That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

1 John 1:2  (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)

 

John says that the Son was from the beginning.  He goes out of his way to emphasize that it wasn’t just the words that he heard that were from the beginning, but also what he saw with his own eyes and felt with his own hands was from the beginning.  It had been with the Father and now was manifested to us.  John is saying as emphatically as he can that the Son, the literal physical Son, not just a spiritual Son, was from the beginning. 

 

In eternity past God existed only as Spirit.  As He began to move toward the works of creation He first manifested Himself in a physical way[5]. In this event, God became a Father and a Son[6].  The truth of the Father and the Son became the center point for everything that would follow[7].  After the Son was manifested He created the worlds according to the will of the Father. 

 

These times, from the manifestation of the Son through the early days of the creation are referred to in the scriptures as the beginning[8].  So when John says that Jesus was from the beginning He is referring to this time in eternity past that started with the manifestation of the Son.  He is reminding the believers that the very flesh that He and others handled was from these pre-creation times[9].    Understanding when the Son became flesh lays the foundation for understanding many of the names that refer to His presence, place and works before the creation.

The Firstborn of Every Creature…Col 1:15-17

 

Col 1:15  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

Col 1:16  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

Col 1:17  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

 

As we learned above, the Son proceeded forth from the Father in eternity past.  At this event, all the fullness of the Godhead was manifested visibly and bodily in the Son, the image of the invisible God[10].  This occurred before there was anything else, before any cherubim, any angels, before Lucifer, before the universe, before the earth, mankind, plants and animals.  For this reason, the Son is given the name the Firstborn of Every Creature.  This in no way is saying the Son is a part of the creation, it is simply acknowledging Him as the first physical being.  The Son then went on to create all things visible and invisible, but as these verses from Colossians emphasize, He was manifest before all of these created things.

The Bright and Morning Star…Rev. 22:16

 

Job 38:4  Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.

Job 38:5  Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?

Job 38:6  Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;

Job 38:7  When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

 

Rev 22:16  I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

 

The early days of the creation are referred to in the scriptures as the morning[11].  The beings that were first, like the Son, the cherubim and the angels, are called morning stars[12].  The Son is the Bright and Morning Star because He was the earliest (the Firstborn) and the Brightest Light in these early times.  Satan is called the Son of the Morning[13] because he was the first being created by the Son.

 

 

The Alpha, the Beginning and the First…Revelation 22:13

 

Rev 1:8  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

 

Rev 1:11  Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

 

Rev 1:17  And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

 

Rev 21:6  And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

 

Rev 22:13  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

 

Names such as Alpha and Omega, First and Last, Beginning and End are not just one more way of saying Christ is eternal.  They are making specific reference to the Son as He relates to what God is accomplishing in and through this present creation.

 

We have already seen that the Son is the Firstborn of Every Creature.  This happened as a part of an overall plan that God has had from eternity past[14].  This plan has a definite beginning point and definite ending point.  The beginning point is the manifestation of the Son of God.  This is why He is called the Alpha, the First, the Beginning.  The end point is when presents a kingdom of righteousness to His Father[15].  This is why He is called the Omega, the Last, and the End.  

 

Understanding Christ as the Beginning of God’s plan can’t be understood unless you understand the nature of His flesh.  When Christ proceeded forth and came from God there was no creation, there was no dirt.  So His flesh could not have been formed from dirt like Adam’s.  It wasn’t.  The scriptures tell us the Christ’s flesh was made from the Word of God[16].  It would empty the titles Alpha, First, and Beginning of their meaning to place Christ in a body of earth.  It would rob Him of the honor of being the Firstborn. 

 

Likewise, understanding Christ as the End of God’s plan can’t be understood unless you understand the nature of His flesh.  God’s plan was for Christ to redeem a people out of this rebellious world to populate His eternal kingdom.  He does this by giving His people a new inner man through the new birth and then by resurrecting them a body fashioned like unto His glorious body[17].  This two-step process puts down the rebellion that is in our flesh and truly makes us sons of God.  The names Omega, Last, and End are making reference to this overall end that the Son is bringing about.  What violence is done to this truth by placing Christ in a body of death like Mary had.  If Christ had taken His flesh from Mary we would have had no hope of ultimate deliverance from the sin nature[18].  There could have been no end of sin among the redeemed.  There could have been no kingdom of righteousness.  The Son could not be the Omega, the Last, and the End. 

 

1 Cor 15:24  Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

1 Cor 15:25  For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

1 Cor 15:26  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

1 Cor 15:27  For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.

1 Cor 15:28  And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

 

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So when Jesus told the Jews that He was before Abraham[19], He wasn’t just making reference to being eternal.  He was making reference to what it means to be the Son of God and He is laying claim to His preeminent place in God’s ordered universe.  The Son of God is that one, who before anything else was made, proceeded forth and came from the Father as the Firstborn of Every Creature. In this event, the Word of God was manifest as flesh that could be seen and touched.   This flesh in which He was present before the foundation of the world  is the same flesh He brought with Him when He came down to us from above 2000 years ago.  It is the same flesh that was torn by a whip and by nails as He suffered for us.  It is the flesh in which He rose, showed Himself after His resurrection and returned to heaven.  It is out of this flesh that He forms the body of His Bride[20].  He is truly the First and the Last. 

 

Just as we confess Jesus as the Lamb of God and hold fast to the truth this represents, we should confess Him as the Firstborn of Every Creature and hold fast to the truth this represents.  This is how we labor for His name.

 

1 John 1:1  That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

1 John 1:2  (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)

 

Let the scriptures speak.


[1] The name Antipas means against the father.  Antipas is probably not this man’s given name.  It is most likely a name of honor that God has given him to recognize his resisting those who were beginning to call themselves father in a religious sense (see Matthew 23:9).  Antipas was likely slain either directly by these fathers or through their influence on the civil rulers in much the same way the Anabaptist were killed for their beliefs in the 1500s.

[2] Isaiah 9:6

[3] John 1:3,10; Colossians 1:16

[4] Micah 5:2.

[5] The Son is the physical, bodily, manifestation of God (Colossians 2:9, John 14:7-9)

[6] Hebrews 1:5.  This is not “when Jesus began to be.”  Remember God is one and Jesus is one with the Father.  The eternal God is eternal; He has no beginning of days.  However, there is a point where God who was Spirit was made flesh.  That is the time we are discussing here.

[7] Psalm 2, Proverbs 30:1-4, Colossians 1:16.

[8] Genesis 1:1, Proverbs 8:22-31, Isaiah 40:21, Isaiah 41:4, John 8:44, Hebrews 1:10, 1 John 3:8

[9] This forms the basis for one of the key teachings of the book of 1 John.  See section Because this Is How We Try the Spirits.

[10] The Son was manifested in the image of the Father, and we were created in the image of both of them.  Hence the words, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness (Genesis 1:26).”

[11] Cherubim and angels were created prior to the creation of the earth.  According to these verses from Job, they sang for joy when the earth was formed.

[12] They are also called sons of God because they were created directly by God rather than being procreated.  Adam is called a son of God for this same reason (Luke 3:38).

[13] Isaiah 14:12

[14] The highlights of this plan are as follows.  God would have a Son.  His Son would create the world.  The world would rebel and fall into sin.  The Son would work in the world to bring out if it an eternal family.  The Son would then put down all rebellion and bring about a new heavens and new earth in which the family of God dwells together in eternal righteousness and love. 

[15] 1 Corinthians 15:25-28

[16] John 1:14

[17] Philippians 3:21, 1 Corinthians 15

[18] See Because of the Resurrection Bodies We Hope For and Because He Arose in the Same Boy He Died In

[19] John 8:56-59

[20] See Because of the Resurrection Body We Hope For.


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