Vol: 108 Issue: 25 Saturday, September 25, 2010
It is a verse so well-known that even Nancy Pelosi cited it as a kind of ‘code’ during a speech so that nobody could dredge up video of Pelosi saying the Name “Jesus” to use against her in future campaigns.
It was the famous “word speech” in which Pelosi claimed an obligation to pursue public policies “in keeping with the values of the Word” which “was made flesh” – an event that the Speaker pronounced “good” saying that “the Word” was her “favorite word” and so on.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
We all know the verses, but let’s look more closely at what this passage is actually revealing.
“The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” (John 1:1-4)
All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made . . .
“In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
In Him was life and the life was the light of men . . .
“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light and God saw the light, that it was good. . . (Genesis 1:3) And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness . . . (Genesis 1:26) . . And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)
The subject of the preincarnate Christ is one of the most essential doctrines of Christianity but almost totally neglected by most Bible teachers. But if Christ wasn’t present at creation, then He could not be God.
It is this doctrine of preincarnation that cults like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the LDS have trouble with. The JW’s New World Bible had to change John 1:1 slightly, to read, “and the Word was a god” in order to make Jesus a created being.
The LDS can’t go there at all, since it teaches Jesus was the brother of Lucifer and Lucifer is an angel without any of the attributes of Deity.
Jesus could not be God and also be created by God. God is eternal – He has no beginning. So the preincarnation of Christ is an absolute doctrinal necessity to proving His Deity.
The OT prophet Micah prophesied that Messiah would come from Bethlehem describes Him as He “whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2)
Isaiah 9:6 describes Israel’s Messiah as “the everlasting Father” which could also be understood as the “Father of Eternity.”
Jesus Christ wasn’t merely present at creation. John 1:3 says Jesus was the Creator – without Him was not anything made that was made.
The angels were present at creation. Genesis refers to angels as ‘the sons of God twice. The Book of Job uses the term “sons of God” three times to describe angels. The New Testament understanding of the ‘sons of God’ is that of born-again, Blood-bought believers.
But the reference to Jesus as the “Son of God” is in the sense of His physical Personhood.
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
Jesus is the ‘begotten Son of the Father’ in that He did not have a human father, not in the sense that Jesus did not exist until the Father made Him. When the Word was made flesh, the flesh was begotten of the Father.
Jesus was also the first begotten of the dead — but that is a title born out of His physical death, the way the Son of God is a title born out of his physical birth.
The Angel of the LORD in the OT is often identified as Jehovah. He is so identified in Genesis 16:7-13 when He spoke with Hagar. In Genesis 22:11-18 when He confirmed the covenant with Abraham. He is identified as Jehovah in Judges 6:11-24.
It was the Angel of the Lord that appeared to Moses in the burning bush who identified Himself as “I Am.”
The Angel of the Lord accepts worship. Only Jehovah God is to be worshipped.
The Angel of the Lord is identified AS Jehovah and also distinguished FROM Jehovah. In Genesis 24:7 Jehovah sends His Angel. In Zechariah 1:12-13 the Angel of the Lord is speaking with Jehovah.
God the Father has been heard, but never seen. God the Spirit has been seen only as a dove hovering over Christ. But the Second Person of the Trinity walked among visibly among men. He could be seen and touched.
The Angel of the Lord also appeared visibly. He ate with Abraham. Abraham offered Him prayers. Genesis 18:13 identifies one of the three angels that visited him as the Lord Himself.
The Angel of the Lord cannot be the Father, Whom no man hath ever seen at any time (John 1:18) and He couldn’t be the Holy Spirit because the Spirit is, by definition, Spirit and immaterial.
Jesus is the Creator. Jesus is the force that holds the created universe together. Indeed, the very protein that holds cells together is laminin, is shaped like a Roman Cross.
Jesus is the Revelator. He is the Author of Prophecy as well as its literal fulfillment. And He is the Deliverer. In his Christophanies (preincarnate appearances) it was Jesus that stopped Abraham from offering Isaac.
It was Jesus in the burning bush. It was Jesus that parted the Red Sea. It was Jesus that supplied the manna from heaven and water from the rocks in the wilderness.
It was Jesus that guided Moses and the Israelites in the form of a cloud by day and pillar of fire by night.
It was God the Father that made the visible from the invisible, God the Son, the visible Image of the invisible God, and by Whom all things were created and God the Holy Spirit that illuminates the spiritual.
One God. Three Persons. But still just one God.