Have you ever considered Jesus Christ before the incarnation - when he was born into this world as a baby?
Did he exist before then?
Was he created by God the Father at his birth?
Or has he always existed?
There is a fairly easy scriptural answer, but I want to look at a lot of scripture concerning Jesus while NOT on the Earth. Jesus answers these first questions himself in Revelation chapter one, verse 8:
I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.
He also states later in Revelation that he is the first and the last. Jesus has always existed from the very beginning of beginnings as stated in John chapter one, and we can see that he IS the beginning in Colossians chapter one. Paul tells us in this Colossians passage that everything was created for Christ and THROUGH Christ. How could something be created through Christ if he did not exist before time and creation began.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
Knowing that Christ, the Son of God and second person of the trinity has always existed and he was integral in creation, we must ask why he would leave the glory of Heaven to come to Earth. Before looking at why he came and how big of a sacrifice his coming was, we must build the contrast between Heaven and Earth. Jesus’ life on Earth will be examined in Part 3.
We have to remember that the spiritual realm that God inhabits is outside of time and space so when we look at visions of Heaven from the Old Testament and the New Testament there is no chorological order. Visions from Revelation are not chronologically after Christ dies on the cross. These visions of Heaven and our Lord are representative of Christ’s glory.
Isaiah’s memorable vision is a good place to start.
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.
This picture of the Lord on his throne with winged seraphim creatures worshipping him is beyond what our imagination can visualize. Isaiah tried to put his vision in words that we could understand, however the best we can do is get the general feeling. As the Lord sits on his throne with the train of his robe so long and majestic that it fills the whole temple, we have to remember that he is the person who created the entire universe and upholds it with the word of his power (Hebrews 1).
John’s vision from the Book of Revelation is similar to what Isaiah experienced. While Jesus Christ was on Earth he never experienced anything like this scene from Heaven.
And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.”
Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
Similar to Isaiah’s vision, those who are near the Lord can not help but to break into song and worship him. They all fall to their faces and cry Holy! And Worthy! Why would Christ leave this realm to be born in a manger?
Finally, let’s look at one more vision. This is Ezekiel’s account of when the Heavens opened up and he could see the Lord on the throne. These strange creatures and wheels are Ezekiel’s best attempt at describing the indescribable. Is the Lord Jesus Christ surrounded in worship and glory in Heaven? I think so.
Ezekiel Chapter 1
As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud, with brightness around it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, as it were gleaming metal. And from the midst of it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had a human likeness, but each had four faces, and each of them had four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf's foot. And they sparkled like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. And the four had their faces and their wings thus: their wings touched one another. Each one of them went straight forward, without turning as they went. As for the likeness of their faces, each had a human face. The four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle. Such were their faces. And their wings were spread out above. Each creature had two wings, each of which touched the wing of another, while two covered their bodies. And each went straight forward. Wherever the spirit would go, they went, without turning as they went. As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches moving to and fro among the living creatures. And the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. And the living creatures darted to and fro, like the appearance of a flash of lightning.
Now as I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them. As for the appearance of the wheels and their construction: their appearance was like the gleaming of beryl. And the four had the same likeness, their appearance and construction being as it were a wheel within a wheel. When they went, they went in any of their four directions without turning as they went. And their rims were tall and awesome, and the rims of all four were full of eyes all around. And when the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose. Wherever the spirit wanted to go, they went, and the wheels rose along with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those rose from the earth, the wheels rose along with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.
Over the heads of the living creatures there was the likeness of an expanse, shining like awe-inspiring crystal, spread out above their heads. And under the expanse their wings were stretched out straight, one toward another. And each creature had two wings covering its body. And when they went, I heard the sound of their wings like the sound of many waters, like the sound of the Almighty, a sound of tumult like the sound of an army. When they stood still, they let down their wings. And there came a voice from above the expanse over their heads. When they stood still, they let down their wings.
And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance. And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him. Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around.
Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking.
We will all fall on our face when we see the power, glory, and majesty of Christ in Heaven. Those who believe will be entered into his glorious presence forever and will be able to join in the joy and awe creating worship of he who is worthy! We’ll all cry Holy! Holy! Holy!
Why would Christ want to leave this realm? Why would He want to become a human and wander the dusty trails of Israel and be persecuted and hated? It is beyond our understanding; however, Part Three will address what life was like on Earth for Jesus. It was nothing like Heaven. I hope this demonstration of Christ’s glory in Heaven will remind us who it was that became a baby and died for us. How could one man die for the sins of many? He had to be infinitely valuable to pay the price. The scriptures above point out Christ’s infinite value.
by Keller Hackbusch