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Do these words mean that Yahshua was personally with the Father from the very beginning? or are they expressive of the fact that Yahweh, as a wise Architect (Hebrews 11:10), foresaw the glory of His completed plan?
The latter without doubt! This is shown beyond question because of the use of similar language in the same manner.
Thus Kepha taught that Yahshua was "foreordained before the foundation of the world but was manifested (made known) in these last times for you" (1 Kepha [Peter] 1:20). Yahchanan [John] describes him as "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8).
Was Yahshua "slain from the foundation of the world"? Typically, yes, in the sacrifices provided; but literally, no.
In like manner, Yahweh, who knows the end from the beginning, foresaw the glory of His son Yahshua and proclaimed it through the prophets. The ultimate glory of Yahshua was in the mind and purpose of the Father from the very beginning.
He also provided for the ultimate glory of Messiah's followers, so that Yahshua prayed:
"The glory which You gave me, I have given them" (Yahchanan [John] 17:22).
Do Messiah's followers possess his glory now? They do not, they are merely "in hope" of it (cf. Romans 5:2).
How can Yahshua then claim to have given it to them? Only in the sense that he has provisionally bestowed it, foreknowing that they to whom it is given in promise will fulfil the conditions to ultimately receive it in reality.
Thus, an accepted follower at Yahshua's coming could well speak to Yahweh as Yahshua prayed to the Father:
"Glorify You me with the glory that I had (in promise) with You before world began!"
Yahweh foreknows the completed purpose, and knowing that He will bring it to consummation, is able to "call those things which be not as though they are" (Romans 4:17). Shaul taught:
"Yahweh chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, without blame before Him" (Eph. 1:4).
If John 17:5 proves the pre-existence of Yahshua, Ephesians 1:4 must prove the pre-existence of all who are followers of him!
The same language is used of other men whom Yahweh has used in a special way. Of Yeremiah it is written:
"Before I formed you in the belly I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you, and I ordained you a prophet unto the nations" (Yeremiah 1:5).
Does that prove the pre-existence of Yeremiah? If not, why should Yahchanan [John] 17:5 be used to teach the pre-existence of Yahshua, and so be made to conflict with many other references which speak of him as the son of David born 1900 years ago? Similar language is used of Shaul (Galatians 1:15) and others. When Yahshua returns, his accepted followers will be granted a glory similar to that bestowed upon him. They will be "conformed to the image of Father Yahweh's son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren" (Romans 8:29).