Question: Some religions teach that Jesus Christ is a created being. Some even say that He was the brother of Lucifer, or that He was the archangel Michael. Is Jesus Christ a created being, or is He eternal?
Answer: The idea that Jesus was created by God the Father is often predicated on very narrow interpretations of Colossians 1:15 and Revelation 3:14, and by a failure to understand the plan of God as it applies to mankind.
The Bible, however, shows that both the Father and the Son are eternally self-existent. Even though "there is only one God" (1 Corinthians 8:4; Deuteronomy 6:4), Scripture shows that God is a divine Family made up of more than one Being (Genesis 1:26; Ephesians 2:19; 3:15).
According to the Bible, Jesus Christ was the God of the Old Testament, the "Word" (logos), through whom the Father created all things (John 1:1–3; 1 Corinthians 10:4; Ephesians 3:9; Hebrews 1:2). After He "emptied Himself" of His divine power (Philippians 2:7) in order to die and pay the penalty for our sins (Romans 6:23), Jesus then became the "only begotten Son" of the Father (John 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18), the Savior of mankind (1 John 4:14) and He who died for our sins and was resurrected that we might be saved from eternal death (Acts 4:10–12).
Some point to the King James Version translation of Revelation 3:14 as evidence that Jesus Christ is a created being, as it describes Him as the "beginning of the creation of God." The problem is in translating the word "beginning" (in Greek, arche). How do other translations render this phrase? Christ is "the Origin of God’s creation" (Moffatt, NRSV); He is "the Ruler of God’s creation" (NIV). "Beginning" would be better rendered as the "Beginner" or the "Originator" of creation. As these translations make plain, Revelation 3:14 does not imply that Jesus was the first created being; rather, He is the One who created, and stands as the cause of, that creation.
Some wrongly take Colossians 1:15 to mean that Christ, as the "firstborn over all creation," was Himself part of that creation. The Greek translated here as "firstborn"—prototokos (from proto, "first" and tikto, "to beget")—does not indicate that Jesus was created. Rather, it reminds us that, through His resurrection, He had the "preeminence" as "firstborn from the dead" (v. 18; Revelation 1:5). Additionally, as Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words rightly observes, Colossians 1:15 is a scripture "where His [Christ’s] eternal relationship with the Father is in view, and the clause means both that He was the Firstborn before all creation and that He Himself produced creation (the genitive case being objective, as ver. 16 makes clear)" (p. 104). "By Him [Christ] all things were created" (v. 16)—He did not create Himself!
Another vital key to understanding Paul’s teaching is found in Hebrews 7. Melchizedek was the king of Jerusalem, and a Priest of the Most High God in the days of Abraham (Genesis 14:18). Paul writes that Melchizedek existed from eternity, "without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually" (Hebrews 7:3). Melchizedek was "like the Son of God," and remains a High Priest continually. If Jesus Christ is now our High Priest (Hebrews 5:10), then Melchizedek and Jesus Christ are one and the same eternal Being (For more on this topic, please write for our free reprint, Who Was the God of the Old Testament?).
Religions that consider Jesus Christ a created being do not understand God’s plan of salvation. Jesus Christ, the "Word" who "was God" and was "with God" eternally from the beginning (John 1:1–2), before the creation, will return as King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:13–16) to establish lasting peace on the earth (Isaiah 2:2–4).