Before the world was - That is, from eternity, before there was any creation - so the phrase, and others similar to it, are taken in the sacred writings; see John 17:24; Psalm 90:2; Ephesians 1:4. See John 1:1. Let the glory of my eternal divinity surround and penetrate my humanity, in its resurrection, ascension, and in the place which it is to occupy at thy right hand, far above all creatures, Philemon 2:6, Philemon 2:9.
With thine own self - In heaven, granting me a participation of the same honor which the Father has. He had just said that he had glorified God on the earth, he now prays that God would glorify him in heaven.
With the glory - With the honor. This word also includes the notion of happiness, or everything which could render the condition blessed.
Before the world was - There could not be a more distinct and clear declaration of the pre-existence of Christ than this. It means before the creation of the world; before there was any world. Of course, the speaker here must have existed then, and this is equivalent to saying that he existed from eternity. See John 1:1-2; John 6:62; John 3:13; John 16:28. The glory which he had then was that which was proper to the Son of God, represented by the expression Ã¢â¬Åbeing in the bosom of the FatherÃ¢â¬Â John 1:18, denoting intimacy, friendship, united felicity. The Son of God, by becoming incarnate, is represented as Ã¢â¬Åhumbling himselfÃ¢â¬Â (Greek: he Ã¢â¬Åemptied himselfÃ¢â¬Â), Philippians 2:8. He laid aside for a time the external aspect of honor, and consented to become despised, and to assume the form of a servant. He now prays that God would raise him up to the dignity and honor which he had before his incarnation. This is the state to which he is now exalted, with the additional honor of having made atonement for sin, and having opened the way to save a race of rebels from eternal death. The lowest condition on earth is frequently connected with the highest honors of heaven. Man looks on the outward appearance. God looks to him that is humble and of a contrite spirit.
The human family was to consider Him in the light of the holy Scriptures, which were to testify of the manner of His coming. Had He come, displaying His glory that He had with His Father, then His pathway toward the cross would have been thwarted by the purpose of men, who would have taken Him by force, and made Him king. He was to close His life by making a solemn oblation of Himself. Type was to reach antitype in Jesus Christ. His whole life was a preface to His death on the cross. His character was a life of obedience to all God's commandments, and was to be a sample for all men upon the earth. His life was the living of the law in humanity. That law Adam transgressed. But Christ, by His perfect obedience to the law redeemed Adam's disgraceful failure and fall. FE 382.1
The prophecies are to be studied, and the life of Christ compared with the writings of the prophets. He identifies Himself with the prophecies, stating over and over again, They wrote of Me; they testify of Me. The Bible is the only book giving a positive description of Christ Jesus; and if every human being would study it as his lesson book, and obey it, not a soul would be lost. FE 382.2Read in context »
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” 1 John 3:1. And Christ says, “As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world” (John 17:18)—to “fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ, ... for His body's sake, which is the church.” Colossians 1:24. Every soul whom Christ has rescued is called to work in His name for the saving of the lost. This work had been neglected in Israel. Is it not neglected today by those who profess to be Christ's followers? COL 191.1
How many of the wandering ones have you, reader, sought for and brought back to the fold? When you turn from those who seem unpromising and unattractive, do you realize that you are neglecting the souls for whom Christ is seeking? At the very time when you turn from them, they may be in the greatest need of your compassion. In every assembly for worship, there are souls longing for rest and peace. They may appear to be living careless lives, but they are not insensible to the influence of the Holy Spirit. Many among them might be won for Christ. COL 191.2
If the lost sheep is not brought back to the fold, it wanders until it perishes. And many souls go down to ruin for want of a hand stretched out to save. These erring ones may appear hard and reckless; but if they had received the same advantages that others have had, they might have revealed far more nobility of soul, and greater talent for usefulness. Angels pity these wandering ones. Angels weep, while human eyes are dry and hearts are closed to pity. COL 191.3Read in context »
The Spirit came upon the waiting, praying disciples with a fullness that reached every heart. The Infinite One revealed Himself in power to His church. It was as if for ages this influence had been held in restraint, and now Heaven rejoiced in being able to pour out upon the church the riches of the Spirit's grace. And under the influence of the Spirit, words of penitence and confession mingled with songs of praise for sins forgiven. Words of thanksgiving and of prophecy were heard. All heaven bent low to behold and to adore the wisdom of matchless, incomprehensible love. Lost in wonder, the apostles exclaimed, “Herein is love.” They grasped the imparted gift. And what followed? The sword of the Spirit, newly edged with power and bathed in the lightnings of heaven, cut its way through unbelief. Thousands were converted in a day. AA 38.1
“It is expedient for you that I go away,” Christ had said to His disciples; “for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.” “When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come.” John 16:7, 13. AA 38.2
Christ's ascension to heaven was the signal that His followers were to receive the promised blessing. For this they were to wait before they entered upon their work. When Christ passed within the heavenly gates, He was enthroned amidst the adoration of the angels. As soon as this ceremony was completed, the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples in rich currents, and Christ was indeed glorified, even with the glory which He had with the Father from all eternity. The Pentecostal outpouring was Heaven's communication that the Redeemer's inauguration was accomplished. According to His promise He had sent the Holy Spirit from heaven to His followers as a token that He had, as priest and king, received all authority in heaven and on earth, and was the Anointed One over His people. AA 38.3Read in context »
But while God's Word speaks of the humanity of Christ when upon this earth, it also speaks decidedly regarding His preexistence. The Word existed as a divine being, even as the eternal Son of God, in union and oneness with His Father. From everlasting He was the Mediator of the covenant, the One in whom all nations of the earth, both Jews and Gentiles, if they accepted Him, were to be blessed. “The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Before men or angels were created, the Word was with God, and was God.... LHU 74.5Read in context »