BIBLE STUDY TOPIC: The Life and Ministry of Immanuel Christ Who Existed Before Being Born of The Virgin Mary
God chose a righteous woman to become the mother of His Son. The angel came to Mary, a virgin, who had high respect for God and a good reputation among the people. Mary, the mother of Immanuel, had to be a virgin because virginity represents purity. The mother of God had to be pure. In addition, Mary had to be a virgin so there would be no question that God indeed was the Father of Immanuel, without any other possibilities. Mary kept her virginity throughout her pregnancy with Immanuel until He was born. ?And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took her as his wife, and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Immanuel.? (Matthew 1: 24-25 NASB) During Mary?s pregnancy with Immanuel, people saw she was expecting a child outside of marriage. Even Joseph had his doubts about her character, until the angel spoke to him regarding her baby. Think of what Mary had to suffer through as people whispered, stared and snickered in her presence, calling her a loose woman. Her pregnancy before marriage affected her reputation, but she was willing to endure persecution for God. Contrary to some religious teaching, Mary did not remain a virgin. After the birth of Immanuel, she did engage in sexual relations with her husband and gave birth to other children whom Joseph fathered. (Matthew 13: 54-56 NASB) Again, Immanuel had sisters and at least four brothers named Simon, Judas, Joseph and James; whose father was Mary?s husband, Joseph. James the brother of Immanuel, later believed in Him as the Son of God and became one of His disciples. James authored the book of James in the New Testament.
Being born as the son of Mary began Immanuel?s earthly life in human flesh, but Immanuel existed even before He was born via Mary. The true beginning of the bible does not start in the book of Genesis, but rather in the first chapter of the book of John.
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 came into being through Him, and without Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. (John 1: 1-4 MKJV)
Immanuel was this Word that became flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1: 14 NASB) Immanuel must have existed before He became a human being, since He created all that exists. He Who created that which exists must have existed before that which He created. Considering that He became flesh (human), suggests that He was in the spirit before taking on human form. This is why it is correct to believe Immanuel, the son of God, was a spirit being, (as is God his Father named AHAYAH); Who then gave up His spirit life, was born of woman into flesh; for the purpose of carriying out the divine plan devised by God the Father, for the salvation of all mankind. Many scriptures attest to the fact that Immanuel Christ came from heaven; proving a pre-existence to His earthly life.
It is important to realize what Immanuel sacrificed to create the opportunity for people to be saved. To begin with, Immanuel was rich. He lived in opulence in heaven with God the Father. He had peace. He had divine power. He ruled the angels and the entire heavenly host. He lived in beautiful surroundings. He had everything He wanted. He had royalty. He was immortal. It is sobering that He left all of this to become human and die for humanity. He made a great sacrifice, because of His love for people. He gave up far more than just His physical life when He died on the cross. His sacrifice began before He was even born a baby boy; when you realize He existed before becoming human. The magnitude of the sacrifice of Christ becomes apparent, considering; not only did He sacrifice His physical life in a painful demise, but that He lived the highest quality of spiritual life possible, before He took on His physical life. This is a profound truth. ?The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine, declares the Lord of hosts.? (Haggai 2: 8 NASB) Immanuel Christ gave up His opulence so that humankind would be able to become opulent in the kingdom of God. (2 Corinthians 8: 9 NASB)
Another consideration that Immanuel Christ existed before His birth as Mary?s Son is when He was talking to the Pharisees about Abraham. He informed them that He was alive before Abraham, and had indeed seen Abraham, which angered them so much they sought to kill Him. 'The Jews therefore said to Him, ?You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?? Immanuel said to them, ?Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham was born, I Am?'. (John 8: 57-58 NASB) Here, Immanuel Christ identified Himself as the great I Am Eternal God.
Because Immanuel Christ existed before His birth to Mary, precisely His Father God planned the things regarding His life. Everything happened specifically as planned. These plans are prophecies. A prophecy will always happen due to the fact that God is in control of everything. Since God has full power over all things, He can speak that something is going to happen, and then cause the necessary things to occur to produce the outcome that He spoke of to happen. Prophecy is history with advance notice. The bible has numerous prophecies regarding the life of Immanuel Christ. These prophecies help us identify Immanuel as the Christ and prove the pre-birth existence of Immanuel.
Let us consider some of the prophecies concerning Immanuel. First, He was prophecied to be born. Everyone knew that a messiah was to be born, and this was common knowledge among the people well before His birth occurred. It was also known what period of time His birth would occur. The people knew Immanuel was born to be king, which explains why the wise men brought gifts to baby Immanuel. It was a common tradition to bring gifts to a king. Notice the wise men also worshiped Him.
And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary, His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him; and opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh. (Matthew 2:11 NASB)
The birthplace of Immanuel was prophecied to be Bethlehem. ?But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you, One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.? (Micah 5: 2) We can see that this scripture is from the Old Testament, showing that the prophecy of Immanuels?s birth was known for generations before it actually occurred. Immanuel Christ was expected to be born. The people knew He would be born in Bethlehem, which is why Herod had all the boys less than three years old killed in Bethlehem during the period prophesied for Christ to be born. Knowing what Herod planned to do to Immanuel, God warned Joseph in a dream to leave Bethlehem and go to Egypt to protect Immanuel?s life.
Second, it was prophesied that he would be a Nazarene. Joseph and Mary settled in Nazareth. Often, Immanuel was referred to as Immanuel of Nazareth. Immanuel was born in the New Testament period, but prophets from the Old Testament predicted the major events that would occur in His life and ministry. The prophets were respected as men of God who brought the word of God to the people. All of the prophecies of Immanuel?s life and ministry fit together, forming a complete picture, showing Immanuel the son of God from heaven Who took on human flesh.
Immanuel Christ existed with God the Father in heaven before the foundation of the Earth.They lived together in peace and harmony as Rulers above the angels, the great heavenly host and everything that exists. When They decided to create physical man, They gave him the ability to make choices. Man was created with intelligence to rule things on the Earth under the leadership of God. After the creation of woman, man was complete and able to reproduce himself. When man and woman chose to rule the earth outside of the leadership of God, God the Father and Immanuel Christ came up with a plan to redeem people back to a peaceful relationshiip with God. The plan of redemption was made through the cooperative efforts of Immanuel Christ and God the father. Immanuel Christ agreed to execute the plan that He and the Father, AHAYAH had made. It required that He become a human being.
Immanuel began his ministry. He had to live a sinless life in order to accomplish the goal of redeeming people back to God the Father. The plan He and His Father had established required Him to be a spotless sacrificial Lamb to die for the sins of humankind. Sin separates people from God. Immanuel?s life has more value than the lives of all people combined, because He created them. Therefore, His death would re-connect people with God. He would be the Passover Lamb, which served as a bridge between God the Father and people. God the Father would accept Immanuel as the perfect sacrifice and humanity would be forgiven for their sins. This is the foundation of the gospel of Immanuel Christ. Immanuel had to go to the people and preach this message to them. He would be their savior if they were willing to repent of their sins and live a new life in Christ.
At the start of Immanuel?s ministry, He had many disciples, totaling about seventy men. Later, only twelve remained. Seventy men were sent ahead of Him to every city and place where He was going to come, so that they would prepare the people to receive Christ when He arrived later. (Luke 10:1 NASB) Immanuel gave them power to cast out demons and heal the sick. The disciples were excited about their new power, so much that they returned to Christ joyously stating how the demons obeyed their word. However, their joy ended when Immanuel revealed that He was the bread of heaven that they must partake of to be saved, and have eternal life. Most of these disciples could not accept this statement, and ?as a result of this, many of his disciples withdrew, and were not walking with Him anymore.? (John 6:66 NASB) Consequently, it is clear that Immanuel Christ was forsaken by most of the men He was training to preach the gospel. Mathematically, only 17% of His disciples stayed with Him. It can be concluded from this that God is not interested so much in quantity as He is in quality. This also shows that God can take very little and do great things with it. These twelve men were the foundation of a church, which had a message that would reach the whole world.
Immanuel taught His disciples by example. They saw and heard Him preach. They experienced His power to work miracles. They witnessed Him healing the sick. Privately, He even answered any questions the disciples had regarding sermons He addressed to the multitudes of people who came out to hear Him speak. Knowing they were to take the gospel to the nations after His death, Immanuel concentrated on teaching them well. His relationship with His disciples was up close and personal. Immanuel was personable. He had power to speak the word which in and of itself could heal people sufficiently, but often He would not only speak the word to heal them, but He also touched them with His hand to make it more personal. A touch with the hand is a show of love and concern for the person. Many people were drawn to Him because of this. His miracles attracted some people. Others were curious about His message. Most came for the love He projected.
He had special appeal to women because He treated them with respect they never had before. When Immanuel walked the Earth, women were considered inferior to men. They had to keep quiet. Men would not converse with women publicly. Immanuel did speak to women in public, even to the amazement of His disciples. Women?s main function was to stay in their father?s house until he found them a husband. While living in their father?s house, they learned household duties. After marriage, the role of woman was to keep her husband?s house and bear his children. The only independent women were the prostitutes. Men were supreme rulers in their household. A man could divorce his wife for any reason at all. If she put too much salt on food, he could divorce her. These facts put women in a terrible position. If her husband put her away and her father was dead or not willing to take her back into his home, she was treated as an outcast without a family. Moreover, if a woman?s husband died and left unpaid bills behind, his creditors could come and take any possessions from his house to cover the cost of the debt left by her husband. As a result, some women were without house or home, even with children to care for.
Because women experienced being treated as a person, rather than property, in their interaction with Immanuel, they loved Him dearly. The women stayed with Immanuel during the time of the crucifixion, while the men were hiding to prevent being associated with Immanuel. The men were afraid, but the women publicly followed Christ throughout the ordeal of His death and its related events. The women were at the cross with Him. John was the only man of the associates of Immanuel who stood beneath the cross.
When Christ was resurrected, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early in the morning and found that He had risen from the dead. She told His disciples this news. The women were very devoted to Immanuel because He treated them with respect and equality.
Lastly, the angels confirmed Immanuel as God in the flesh when they remarked, ?Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This same Immanuel, Who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.? (Acts 1:11 NASB)
Immanuel did indeed exist as God before He was born of the virgin named Mary, who was the wife of Joseph. He was born as a human being to serve a great purpose for the salvation of all humanity. He chose twelve men who committed to preaching the gospel so that the whole world would know of the magnificent plan of God. Immanuel created all that exists, and therefore is greater than all that exists. This enabled Him to be the sacrifice that would die for the remission of the sins of all people. When He resurrected, He had all power and authority in heaven and earth as His own. In addition, He had paved the way for each human being to have the opportunity to be resurrected to eternal life in God?s kingdom at the appointed time. Immanuel Christ was, is and will forever be?the Eternal. This information assures Christ did indeed live before His birth as the Son of Mary. The prophecies from the Old Testament predicting His birth, ministry and death have all been fulfilled. History records eye witnesses that have confirmed these events are certain. The life and ministry of Immanuel Christ is the greatest story ever told. The evidence of the pre-existence of Christ before His physical birth is clear. Immanuel Christ is God the Son. God is a spirit. A spirit is immortal. Immanuel Christ is the I Am. AG