Nature of God


The Deity of Christ

Part 5:  He Proceeds Forth

by Bill Wong




The Bible uses the words ‘son’, ‘only-begotten’ and ‘heir’ which are all related and mean exactly what they are supposed to mean. There is no special inferred meaning to them. As God’s (YHWH’s) son who is only-born from God, the Lord Jesus is the lone true heir to all things through whom God created all things. The Lord Jesus is the only-born child of God before He even came in the flesh and this is why He qualifies as heir to all that is in heaven and all that is on earth. It is because He is this only-born son that He can also die for His creation.

Since the Lord Jesus was the only-begotten son in heaven before He came to earth in the flesh, He always spoke as the same person He was since before the foundation of the world. He always spoke in reference to Himself from the perspective of heaven – it is who He is and from where He came from (also see article: ‘Jesus always refers to Himself as God’s son since in heaven – if a Trinity is true, He should know when He will return’). He always spoke as who He was: the Word of God, the only-begotten Son of God; from the perspective of heaven and His father.

John 3: 

13   And no man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.   (AKJV)

John 6:

38   For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.   (AKJV)

John 8:

23   and he said to them, `Ye are from beneath, I am from above; ye are of this world, I am not of this world;   (AKJV)


The Bible tells us in other ways that Jesus was born of God directly from His person and not created from nothing.

The Bible confirms for us what only-begotten son means.  The Lord Jesus often speaks of Himself coming from the Father.  Given below is an example:

John 7:

27   However, we know this man from where he is: but when Christ comes, no man knows from where he is.

28   Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, You both know me, and you know from where I am:

     and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom you know not.

29   But I know him: for I am from him, and he has sent me.

30   Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.   (AKJV)


John 7:29-30 is related to what happened in John 5:17-18 where the Jews sought to kill Jesus after Jesus said He and His father were both working:

John 5:

17   But Jesus answered them, My Father works till now, and I work.

18   Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath,

      but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.   (AKJV)


In John 5:17-18, the Jews understood Jesus was saying He was literally God’s son and hence His being “equal” in terms of kind begetting kind, a true family relationship of father and son.

The same is happening in John 7, but instead of the Lord Jesus saying He and His father are working, Jesus says He is from His father (“But I know him: for I am from him, and he has sent me”). From Jesus’ previous statement in John 5 and their reaction, the people understood that Jesus saying He is ‘from’ God is only supporting and reiterating His literal being “equal” with God (they are both deity but not equal in power) in a father-son relationship as the Son of God, and not as an angel or other spirit being who can come from the presence or side of God like Gabriel (Luke 1:19). This is why they had the same reaction – they wanted to seize Him. Also see articles: ‘Is Jesus equal to His father – what equal means in the Bible’and‘Who is equal to his God – Jesus says His father is His God’.


Exerchomai (proceed forth)

However, John 5:17-18 and John 7:29 are only preludes to God revealing more information about the nature of who the Lord Jesus is as the only-begotten Son of God. The Lord also says expressly that He proceeded forth from the Father in heaven; the New Testament using the Greek word ‘exerchomai’ which means ‘to come forth/proceed forth/issue forth’.  

Some people say that when Jesus says He proceeds forth from His father using the word ‘exerchomai’, it just means that Jesus came from the presence of His father.

However, this interpretation of proceeding/coming forth as meaning coming from the presence or side of His father is an oversimplification and omits Bible truth. It leaves out the true meaning of the Bible and Jesus’ words. It downplays and blinds the reader to the true relationship between the Lord Jesus and His father.


In the New Testament, the Greek word (the preposition) for the English word ‘from’ is used together with the word ‘exerchomai’ to give the full meaning of ‘come forth’.  

There are three Greek words used that are translated ‘from’ and they are ‘para’, ‘apo’ and ‘ek’. Each means coming from a reference point or source, but in differing levels of intensity. Greek scholars generally agree and follow Mantey’s delineation:


‘para’ – From with or from beside a reference point.

‘apo’  – More intimate and closer in proximity.

              Regards going off or away from the exterior or surface of the reference point.

              This point is the starting point.

‘ek’    –  Most intimate. Concerns coming from within and coming out of the reference point.

              This reference point is the source of origin of that which comes out of it.


In the Bible, all three forms are used to describe exactly how the Lord Jesus proceeds forth from His father.

With the fact that the Lord Jesus refers to Himself as the same person even since from heaven and the context of His father as the subject and source from which He comes, this means the use of ‘come/proceed forth from’ (‘exerchomai’ combined with ‘para’ / ’apo’ / ’ek’) comes out to the following:


‘para’ : proceed forth from where?  

             = coming from the side of the father

‘apo’  : proceed forth from where?

             = coming from the bosom of the father

‘ek’     : proceed forth from where?  

             = coming from within the father


The following verses use the Greek word ‘exerchomai’ with these Greek prepositions for ‘from’.

We will begin with the preposition which indicates least proximity from an origination source to the greatest proximity or relation to its origination source.


1)   John 17:8


John 17:

8     For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them,

     and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.   (NKJV)


The preposition ‘para’ is used to indicate the Lord Jesus came from by His father’s side in heaven.


2)  John 13:3


John 13:

3   Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands,

    and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God,   (NASB)


The word ‘from’ in this case is the Greek word ‘apo’ which indicates intimate proximity (surface). This intimacy is also revealed when Jesus says He is going back to God, because the word ‘to’ (Greek ‘pros’) parallels ‘apo’ (to and from) and is the same word translated into English as ‘with’ in John 1:1 (“the Word was ‘with’ God”). The intimacy of ‘pros’ in John 1:1 is shown in John 1:18 (Jesus “is in the bosom of the father”). Hence, we can see ‘apo’ is indeed very intimate.


3)   John 16:30


John 16:

26   In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you;

27   for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.

28   I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father."

29   His disciples said to Him, "See, now You are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech!

30   Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You.

     By this we believe that You came forth from God."   (NKJV)


The Greek texts have the Lord Jesus using ‘para’ with ‘exerchomai’ in verses 27 & 28, and have the disciples using ‘apo’ with ‘exerchomai’ in verse 30 (two forms of Greek ‘from’ used).


4)   John 8:42


Following up John 5:17-18 and His statement in John 7:29, we come to the Lord Jesus’ statements in the very next chapter, John 8. The usage of ‘exerchomai’ with its corresponding ‘from’ preposition in John 8 actually comes before all other uses of ‘exerchomai’ and the ‘from’ preposition we have reviewed above.

And again, we find the Lord Jesus speaking from the perspective of heaven and His father:

John 8:

23   And He was saying to them, "You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.   (NASB)


John 8:

25   Then they said to Him, "Who are You?" And Jesus said to them, "Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning.

26   I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true;

     and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him."

27   They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father.   (NKJV)


Then the Lord Jesus says He came forth out from the Father:

John 8:

39   They answered and said to Him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them,

     "If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham.

40   But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this.

41   You do the deeds of your father." Then they said to Him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father --- God."

42   Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God;

     nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.   (NKJV)



In verse 42, the Greek preposition ‘ek’ is used together with ‘exerchomai’ to indicate that the Lord Jesus proceeded forth out of God.


The subject of the conversation is about line of birth: from Abraham and God as father.  The Jews said they came from Abraham’s line/stock, but Jesus then replies that if they love God as their Father, they should also love Him, because Jesus is the Son of God – Jesus proceeded forth out from God. 

He equates Himself with God to say He was begotten from God; that He is the only-begotten Son who came out of God Himself and if you love the Father you would love the son born of Him. In other words, Jesus parallels the Jews’ statement that they came from Abraham’s stock with the revelation that He proceeded forth out of God – His stock.  

This is so because Jesus is the only-begotten Son of God before He came in the flesh and always spoke of Himself as this son from heaven who was sent to accomplish His father’s will.  So the meaning of ‘exerchomai’ and ‘ek’ must not be ignored. It means when the Lord Jesus says He proceeded forth out from His father, He came forth out of His father while in heaven and not in the flesh on earth. The context of Him referring to Himself in heaven does not change.

The context of the passage underscores the usage of ‘exerchomai’ and ‘ek’ (came forth out of from within) which is familial relationship due to father begetting a son. However, we must not think of this like a physical begetting, because God is spirit. God who is spirit brought forth life directly from Himself and therefore, His son who comes forth from Him is in the form of God (Philippians 2:6) and also deity. It is a spiritual begetting in the days of eternity.  This is why Jesus is God (deity/divine) – He proceeded forth from God; the word ‘God’ used for Jesus is an adjective to describe His nature, but not the person God who is His father alone.  Please also see the article: ‘Bible tells us who is created and it is not Jesus’.

We also cannot ignore the use of ‘exerchomai’ and ‘ek’ since we have seen how one must truly be an only-begotten son (term used for an only child and He was only-begotten before coming to earth) to be the true heir who created all things in this capacity – and therefore deserve to inherit all things. It tells us how Jesus is the only-begotten son; and shows us how Jesus is deity and even though He is deity, why He can die to redeem His creation where His father cannot die.


How the Lord Jesus is only-begotten

In John 8:42, the Lord Jesus is not stating that He is coming from the Father’s side (or ‘para’ would be used) or even from very close (or ‘apo’ would be used) in the Father’s presence. The use of ‘ek’ with ‘exerchomai’ shows that the Bible is telling us that Jesus proceeded forth out of the Father – Jesus came forth from within God Himself (from God’s own body/substance); otherwise, the other forms of ‘from’ would have been used.

The use of ‘exerchomai’ and ‘ek’ in John 8:42 were used in the context of family/father’s lineage, but the Lord Jesus always spoke in reference to heaven and His father (as He did also using ‘exerchomai’ with the other prepositions ‘para’ and ‘apo’). So ‘exerchomai’ and ‘ek’ does not mean the Lord Jesus was begotten by God through the virgin Mary as can also be seen by the very usage of the three forms of the Greek preposition ‘from’ with ‘exerchomai’ – everything occurs from heaven.  It should be noted that Jesus saying He proceeded forth from God in John 8:42 confirms that Jesus was not literally begotten at His resurrection.  

These three Greek prepositions ‘from’ give us three levels of detail to describe what the Lord Jesus came forth/proceed forth from truly means – they are varying levels of how and where He comes forth from a certain source, and this source is His father.

In all cases, the subject and the origination source is always God, His father, His source of life.   So proceeding out from His father, just like leaving from His bosom or from His side, all point directly to the Father Himself as the specific point or source from which He proceeds.

His father is His source of life; God is the begetter and His son Jesus is the begotten:

John 5:

26"For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself;    (NASB)


John 6:

57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.     (NKJV)



We see that God gives life to all things and this includes His son:

1 Timothy 6:

13   I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate,     (NKJV)



John 8 shows the Lord Jesus speaking about coming from above and also talking about His father. Then He says He came forth from out of His father (the only-begotten son) within the context of lineage: Abraham to Jews, God to Jesus. The chapter ends with the Lord Jesus making a declaration which confirms the perspective and context of which He speaks.  Jesus states that He existed before Abraham, the father of the Jews:

John 8:

58    Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Before Abraham was, I am.   (AKJV)


Many cite John 8:58 as Jesus stating He is the “I AM” of Exodus 3:14.  They say the reaction of the Jews to try and stone him confirms this.  However, is this really the reason they wanted to stone Him or do they miss an even bigger picture of what Jesus was actually saying?

The context of John 8 shows that the Lord Jesus’ declaration in John 8:58 is actually proof that He is the only-begotten Son of God who came forth out from the Father.  Jesus begins by stating His origin is from above and not of this world:

John 8:

21   Then said Jesus again to them, I go my way, and you shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: where I go, you cannot come.

22   Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he said, Where I go, you cannot come.

23   And he said to them, You are from beneath; I am from above: you are of this world; I am not of this world.



The conversation continues and Jesus makes one of the most quoted sayings of all:


John 8:

32   And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.



This leads into further discussion about origins and the Jews saying they have Abraham as their father and Jesus saying He proceeded forth out from God:


John 8:

33   They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how say you, You shall be made free?

34   Jesus answered them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin.

35   And the servant stays not in the house for ever: but the Son stays ever.

36   If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.

37   I know that you are Abraham's seed; but you seek to kill me, because my word has no place in you.

38   I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and you do that which you have seen with your father.

39   They answered and said to him, Abraham is our father. Jesus said to them, If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham.

40   But now you seek to kill me, a man that has told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.

41   You do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.

42   Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.



Up until now, the gravity and profoundness of what Jesus has said about coming from above and proceeding forth from His father is lost.  It is only when the conversation reveals a time element about Abraham that the Jews finally understand as we read below: 


John 8:

51   Truly, truly, I say to you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.

52   Then said the Jews to him, Now we know that you have a devil.  Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and you say, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.

53   Are you greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom make you yourself?

54   Jesus answered, If I honor myself, my honor is nothing: it is my Father that honors me; of whom you say, that he is your God:

55   Yet you have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like to you: but I know him, and keep his saying.

56   Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

57   Then said the Jews to him, You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?

58   Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Before Abraham was, I am.



When Jesus says He existed before Abraham that is when the Jews sought to kill Him.  Why?  It is not because Jesus supposedly declared Himself as the “I AM”.  They sought to kill Jesus, because finally all the pieces of the picture come together about everything Jesus was saying to the Jews:


1.  God is my Father.


2.  I come from above.


3.  I proceeded forth from the Father.


4.  This happened before Abraham.


5.  I am the only-begotten Son of God and Messiah.



The Jews understood correctly that what Jesus was saying was this:


---   Jesus proceeded forth out from God before Abraham and in heaven, and hence is “equal” to God as deity being the son of the Almighty and His Messiah from everlasting.



The context shows the conversation in John 8 leading to the revelation that Jesus existed before Abraham ever since verse 33 when the Jews first mention Abraham. It is the only way to make sure everyone understands that Jesus is the only-begotten Son of God (whom the Jews know is the Messiah/Christ) – and this has always been the case, even before Abraham.  Most people even today cannot grasp that Jesus being the Son of God means He was the only-begotten son who proceeded forth from God in the days of everlasting.  It is the truth that can likewise provoke violent reaction and has long been hidden by the Trinity and other false doctrines about the nature of God. 


John 8 only echoes and confirms what John the Baptizer stated in John 1; that the Lord Jesus is greater because He came before:  


John 1:

29 On the morrow, he beholdeth Jesus, coming unto him, and saith––See! the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world.
30 This, is he, of whom, I, said––After me, cometh a man, who, before me, hath advanced, because, my Chief, was he.   (EMP)



And just as John 1:1-2 declares, John 8 likewise does not state that Jesus is the “I AM”.  This name is only attributed to His father YHWH, who is “the God”.  Please also see article John 1 disproves a Trinity.


He speaks as the one who came forth from within (exerchomai & ek) His father – something which has occurred before the birth of Abraham and hence illustrating that all He has ever said is always according to this heavenly status and identity. His point of being begotten is not from His coming to earth through a virgin birth, but being begotten – born, as spirit, before Abraham and all creation in the days of eternity. His coming forth out from within the Father is not an earthly begetting, but how He is born from the Father as the only-begotten Son of God since before the foundation of all creation.


It is the Lord Jesus being the only-begotten son (exerchomai & ek) which reveals the Bible truth why Jesus’ father God alone has immortality (1 Timothy 1:17; 6:16), and how the Lord Jesus – though He is deity, was still able to die for our sins.

This is how the Lord Jesus Christ is the only-begotten Son of God – He proceeded forth out of God. This is evidenced by the Lord Jesus’ own declarations that His father gives Him life and the Bible truth that He is not immortal like His father and was able to die for His creation.

In another way we know that Jesus came forth out from His father.  The Lord Jesus is the Word of God.  Does not one's word, one's voice, come from within a person?  As the Word of God, is not Jesus the very expression of what lies within the mind of God?  Indeed, are we not told in Scripture that what comes forth from within the heart reveals the true nature of the person --- and the Lord Jesus is the express image of the invisible God? 

In all these ways, including most of all being the only-begotten of His father as a father passing on His lineage, does the Lord Jesus proceed forth out from God --- God passes deity to His son who must then naturally also be deity. 


Being the only-begotten son (‘exerchomai’/‘ek’) explains everything

We must bear in mind that the use of ‘exerchomai’ and ‘ek’ in John 8:42 precedes all other uses of ‘exerchomai’ with the ‘from’ prepositions of ‘apo’ and ‘para’. From the usage of ‘exerchomai’ and ‘ek’ first we can better understand the meaning and use of the other references the Lord makes of coming from His father.

When we know that Jesus Himself said that He came out from within His Father, then we can understand also all the other references using ‘came forth’/’exerchomai’, because these all come after John 8. All forms of the preposition ‘from’ apply to the Lord Jesus, including come out of from within, not just “coming forth from by his side or his presence” as many assume.

Indeed, it is because the Lord Jesus proceeded forth from out of His father (‘ek’, in John 8), from God’s own “body”, that all three forms of the Greek preposition for ‘from’ apply to the Lord in the first place. It is because He came out of the father as His only-begotten son, that He is so intimate with God (‘apo’, in John 13 & 16) and is always by His side (‘para’, in John 16 & 17). An angel can be said to come from the presence of God (‘para’), but only the Son of God is so intimate (‘apo’) and it is because He is born forth out of God Himself (‘ek’).  It is the Lord Jesus proceeding forth out from His father that explains in John 1:1 how the Lord Jesus is deity ("was God"), but yet He is not "the" God which only describes His father.  It is why the perspective is always from heaven and always from God Himself.

Think of how awesome this truth is! But most people do not know it, choose to ignore it or brush it aside. A Trinity and other doctrines insist the Lord Jesus is His father’s equal while completely ignoring the fact that the Lord Jesus can die, but His father cannot or say He is God/deity, but cannot explain why or how He can be God’s son in the first place and essentially make God and His son sound like there are two or three Gods.


The Lord Jesus’ words are abundantly clear; His life comes from His father and His coming forth out of God is how this is so – there is no room for misinterpretation or manipulation. The Lord Jesus says plainly if you love God as your father, you would love me, because I am the true Son of God who proceeded forth out from God Himself.

The son coming forth out from within the Father is the truth that reveals the true meanings of the terms father, son, only-begotten, born, heir, etc. and ties them all together. They are all related, because they all describe the same thing: God’s relation to His son, who is truly His father’s son, begotten from Him. Jesus was begotten directly from God Himself. Truly, He is the only-begotten Son of God.


The True Gospel of God

Think of what this means. If people are unbiased by traditions they were taught and translators translated correctly without theological bias, then the earnest reader and believer will very easily see that Jesus came forth out of God Himself and understand what being the only-begotten/only-born son truly means. Understanding the Bible and the nature of God then becomes crystal clear.

The Lord Jesus came forth out of God. This tells us why when the Bible says Jesus is God’s son, it means a father begot a son; a son is a son by lineage, from the father’s line, by actually being born, not being co-eternal, eternally generated, created, or only becoming a son in the flesh or upon resurrection. Because He proceeded forth out of God, the one supreme being, our Heavenly Father is a true father and the Lord Jesus Christ is deity and God’s true only-begotten son and heir.

It is because the Lord Jesus is the only-begotten son whom God Himself begot – coming forth directly from God’s being Himself in the days of eternity, that the Bible tells us God gave the Lord Jesus life and the Lord Jesus calls His father His God (John 20:17; Revelation 3:12) and the one true God (John 17:3). This is why God alone is immortal and the Lord Jesus can die for our sins even though He is deity. This is the true monotheism of the Bible: how His father God is one and above all.

What is the true gospel of God? It can only be understood when we realize what God is love means (1 John 4:8, 16); that God is all about family.

When our Heavenly Father says He has an only-begotten son who He sends to us, then that is exactly what He means. The Almighty begot a son – He gave life. God does not need a wife in a similar way that Adam and Eve did not need to have a father and a mother. This son proceeded forth out directly from Him – not like a physical begetting, but as spirit and from God who is spirit, and hence is deity and in the form of God as well (John 1:1; Philippians 2:6), and God’s very image (2 Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3).

Through this son, our Heavenly Father plans to expand His family by blessing us with His love and changing us to be like His only-begotten son in our hearts and ultimately in our bodies, too (changing our physical bodies).  

God is truly a loving father who wants a family and relationship with those who choose to love Him of their own free will. He is not a cold, distant or weak father, but He is a father in the truest sense of the word: one who literally begets a child – His only-begotten son. Then, through the redemptive blood of His only-begotten son, He begets more children into His family by adopting them into His family. His only-begotten son is the one true heir, and His adopted children are co-heirs.

This Bible truth that God is all about a true family where a begetter begets a child – God has begotten the Lord Jesus in heaven before coming to earth in the flesh, has been confused and hidden by many false doctrines. They have been used to distort the true nature of God and the true nature of the deity of the Lord Jesus – there are no 3 persons in 1 God or a Trinity, and there are no 2 or 3 Gods or Jesus is not also YHWH in contradiction to the Shema’s declaration there is only one YHWH. The true meaning of what God is love means and the reason for everything has been hidden by these false doctrines. In doing so, they distort who God is and therefore affect how we worship in spirit and truth which is what God seeks.

How can we worship God in spirit and truth and love Him with all our being when we do not know who He really is and who His son really is? How can we fully understand what it means when the Bible tells us God is love (1 John 4:7-19) if we do not know it is within the true context of family and begetting life? And this all starts with God begetting a son who is willing and able to die so we may live – His only-begotten son shed His blood to atone for our sins so that we may have eternal life.


Simply put:  when the Bible tells us that God is love, it means God gave life to an only-begotten son, because LOVE = LIFE.  Love means you cannot help it but to give life.  Love means you must give life – and will even die to give life.  This is why God begot a son from the days of eternity and gave Him for us; and this is why Messiah loves us so much, that He died for us to give us everlasting life. 




Our Heavenly Father is love. And He is patient. Like the father in the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), He waits and calls to us – through His only-begotten son.


This is part 5 of 7 about the Deity of Christ.  Please proceed to part 6: 'The Gospel in Genesis'.



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