H O U S E o f W I S D 0 M
P. O. B o x 2 5 43
C l e b u r n e, T e x a s 7 6 0 3 3
Email: woody@dtgministries.org; Website: http://www.dtgministries.org
16 April 2014


John 1 - Part I, The Word Made Flesh

 

The Apostle John is believed to have written this book about the year A.D. 90 in the city of Ephesus in Asia. He and the Apostle James were the sons of Zebedee, but Jesus surnamed them the “sons of thunder” (Mk 3:17), which is interesting when you understand that “thunder” is a symbol for “rebuke” (Ps 104:7). John is referred to as the one “whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23; 20:2), and the one whom Jesus entrusted His mother at the cross (John 19:26-27). He was the first of the disciples to believe that Jesus rose from the dead (John 20:28) and the first to recognize Him on the shore of the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1-7).

This account of Jesus’ life is very different from Matthew, Mark and Luke. The purpose for of this gospel is stated near the end of the book: John 20:30-31: 30. And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31. But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the anointed One, the Son of the God; and that believing you may have life in the name (character) of him. [text rendered more literal to the Greek]. The book emphasizes that Jesus is the real Son of the one true God - the Father. I believe John wrote it because perverted teachings about the Father and Son were already infiltrating the church. Living 20 centuries later, we can see the result of those false teachings taking over and causing the falling away of which Paul wrote: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4: 1. Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2. That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4. Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

Early reformers, Martin Luther, John Calvin and others, saw accurately that this prophecy applied to the Papacy. In the counter-reformation, Francisco Ribera, a Jesuit (Roman) priest, in his 1585 treatise of the book of Revelation, set forth the theory that an antichrist would be enthroned in the temple of Jerusalem just before the return of Christ. In the early 1900s, Scofield, in his reference Bible, began to promote Ribera’s futurism, so that today, most churches apply these scriptures to a future antichrist. Today, the doctrines of Rome have taken over the whole church. What the reformers failed to see, as does the church today, is how a symbol or a type can be layered. Example: Daniel 7 portrays beasts as symbols of certain nations. The nations, however, are types for characteristics of mankind. While the Papacy is an outward type, it is also an inward type of mankind worshipping self, subjecting themselves to the doctrines of men, rather than to the one true God through Jesus Christ. This is not a statement against the people of any particular denomination, as we were all born into the apostasy. But it is a statement of history to show how the apostate church (all denominations) got to where it is today.

John 1:1: In (the) beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the God, and the Word was God. There is no English equivalent of an indefinite article (a, an) in the Greek. Additionally, English and Greek definite articles (the) are not used in the same way. In English, the is merely used as a function word to particularize, i.e. refer to a particular object. It is also used as an adverb that, than when used before comparatives. The Greek serves to emphasize the person or thing it modifies. Hence, in most cases it serves to identify. The context will show how the author is using it. In this verse the serves to identify the first use of God as the Father of Jesus (cf 2Corinthians 11:31; Ephesians 1:3; 1Peter 1:3), and the second use, without the article, showing that Jesus is God, or a God in his own right. In English, the article is not used with proper nouns, as a person’s name, while the Greek article is used with proper nouns to identify or emphasize the person or thing. For instance, the name Jesus appears 11 times in this first chapter and the article is used all but three times. When article is not used, Jesus is identified in a different way as, “the anointed One” (verse 17); being from “Nazareth” (verse 45) and by Nathaniel, in the dialogue between him and Jesus, as the “Son of God” (verses 47-49). In John 20:28 and Hebrews 1:8, the article is used when the God (ho (g3588) theos (g2316)) is referring to Jesus. In these cases, I believe the author is emphasizing the Lord (supreme authority) or master of mankind, and the divinity of Jesus as the Son of God, respectively.

The Greek word theos (g2316) (god, God) is used in a similar manner to the Hebrew word elohiym (h430) in that both refer to someone that they consider mighty, whether God the Father, the Son of God, false gods, or a person (Acts 14:11). Moses, for instance, was called elohiym in Exodus 4:1: And the Lord (Yahweh) said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god (elohiym) to Pharaoh... In other words, Moses was made a “mighty” man to Pharaoh because of the miracles God performed through him. The Greek word theos is also used generically to represent false gods (1Corinthians 8:5) or men (John 10:34).

Word in John 1:1 is being used metaphorically of the Son of God. There are those who do not believe that the Son existed prior to becoming human, who teach that this is the literal “word” of the one God. However, compare Revelation 19:13: And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. The Hebrew concept of “name” is that of character (cf Genesis 17:5; 32:28; Jeremiah 7:32). The Son of God is the ultimate expression of the character, or concepts, ideas and opinions of His Father, and the one who teaches mankind about God through His teachings and actions. Additionally, if “word” is to be taken as literal, the light in the next verse must be taken literal: John 1:4-5: 4. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5. And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. Light and darkness are metaphors for truth and error respectively. Many understand this, and yet, will deny many other metaphors or symbols. But God sees the heart of man and tests all to see if they will hear Him or, walk in their own light. 1Corinthians 1:24-29: 24. But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 25. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27. But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28. And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29. That no flesh should glory in his presence.

John 1:1-3: 1. In (the) beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2. The same was in the beginning with God. 3. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In the first three verses John establishes that the Son was with the Father at the beginning of creation (cf Genesis 1:26) and that the Son created all things (cp Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:16-17). John 1:10-11, 14: 10. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.... 14. 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. When understood correctly, the first few verses of the book of John bring into question at least three major doctrines - the Trinity, the Oneness (Jesus only) and the teaching that Jesus had no pre-existence. This is even more evident later in the book.

The idea of rejection not only applies to the Apostles’ generation, but to every generation of man since the cross. John 1:10-13: 10. He was (Greek mood = continuously) in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12. But as many as received him, to them gave he [authority] to become the [children] of God, even to them that believe in his name (character of love): 13. Who (were born), not out of blood, nor out of the will of the flesh, nor out of the will of man, but were born out of God. (supplied); [actual meaning]; {verse 13 more literal to the original}

From the creation of the universe until Jesus came to Israel, He was continuously in the world, but the people of the world only knew about Him - they did not know him by experience. Psalms 34:8: O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. To experience the taste of food, it must be eaten. To experience the love and promises of God we must receive them and act on them, and enter into His understanding. Israel knew about and expected the Messiah, but their expectations were born out of flesh and blood - i.e. man’s own understanding. Moreover brothers and sisters, flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption (1Corinthians 15:50). To be born out of God is to receive and act on His love and follow Christ’s instructions as to loving others (Matthew 22:36-40; Gaatiansl 5:14).

John 1:16-18: 16. And out of the fulness of his (love - Ephesians 3:17-19) have all we received, also grace because of (g473) grace. 17. For the law was given through Moses, but the grace and the truth came through Jesus Christ. 18. No man has seen (discerned clearly) God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he declared him. (more accurate to the original) Verse 17 differentiates between receiving of the law and receiving of God’s grace through Jesus. Because of God’s grace, we have been shown grace. He in the phrase, he declared him is emphatic, as if to say He and He only has declared Him. Jesus is the way to understanding the Father, He only has the truth of the Father and He only has the life the Father, which is offered to each of us through His only begotten Son.

Jesus warned, And then if any one says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'Look, there he is!' do not believe it. False Christs and false prophets will arise and show signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But take heed; I have told you all things beforehand (Mk 13:21-23 RSV). Where are these false prophets who teach a false Christ? They are all around us; they are in every denomination. EVERYTHING Jesus did and said was to reveal the character of the one true God and Father of Jesus (John 17:3). The path to the one true God is a narrow one because it goes only through Jesus, and few be that find it (Matthew 7:14). Be diligent to present thyself approved to God - a workman irreproachable, rightly dividing the word of the truth (2Timothy 2:15 YLT). Go to Jesus for your understanding of the Bible, and not mankind. Amen.

 

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