Wednesday, November 7, 2018

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE 58

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
(A study in Book of Revelation Part 58) by J. Preston Eby

THE CHURCH IN LAODICEA
(continued)
“And by the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; these things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God” (Rev. 3:14).

John the beloved had learned from Jesus, his Master, the truth of the priority of God — the truth that before everything is God.  And now in holy vision this great truth is driven home to him again, from the lips of the glorified Lord.  Some truths, when we have learned them, are to us like precious jewels which we keep in a jewel-box, hidden most of the time from sight, our great satisfaction regarding them being simply their possession — simply that they are ours.  Other truths, when we have learned them, are like new countries into which our lives have entered, and in which they thenceforth constantly live.  There is a new heaven over our head and a new earth under our feet.  They fold themselves about us and touch every thought and action.  Everything which we think, or do, or are, is different because of them.

As we reverently, with head bowed and shoes removed from off our feet, consider this great truth of Him who is “the beginning of the creation of God,” I would draw your pure mind to consider the processes of the creative word of God by which all things visible and invisible in all dimensions of time and space, and beyond time and space, are brought forth and exist.  Before all things and behind all things and beyond all things standeth God, eternal, omniscient, and omnipotent.  God is spirit!   The reality of God exists in the eternal dimension of spirit, the dimension that is unique, special, and particular to His identity.  All that God is exists in that eternal realm of spirit.  And the testimony of scripture is that He is “before all things.”

Let us not conceive of God existing “before all things” in a linear way.  

The notion that God for many ages and incomprehensible measures of time — countless trillions of earth years — remained inactive and then at a comparatively recent date created the universe and our world is both illogical and fallacious.  This view presumes that eternity preceded time, that time began from several thousand to several billion years ago, and God was within the eternity before that uncreative and unproductive.  Here, in the picture people have of God first contemplating the idea of a creation and then resolving to bring it into existence, we have God suddenly becoming something (Creator) in recent history that He had never been before!

There are two sublime statements in the written word of God concerning “the beginning.” 

The Bible opens with the assertion, “In the beginning God created…” (Gen. 1:1).  Then in the New Testament the fourth Gospel begins with the declaration, “In the beginning was the Word…” (Jn. 1:1).  There is a deep mystery here!  You see, in that long ago beginning where we meet time and where we meet creation, we also meet “the Word.”  In the beginning God created, and in that same beginning there was the Word.  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made” (Jn. 1:1-3).

Here we have two items, but we are not talking about two persons!  We have God and we have the Word.  The Word was in the beginning.  And all things were made by the Word!  Yet it was God who did the creating.  And the Word was God!  That is the mystery.

The Greek word Logos, or Word in English, was common in New Testament days. 

This Word is presented as One “in the beginning.”  Note the contrast between “in the beginning” and the expression “from the beginning,” which is common in John’s writings.  Satan was a murderer “from the beginning,” but the Logos was “in the beginning.”  This beginning antedates the very first words in the Bible, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” for of this One it is stated, “The same was (already) in the beginning with God” (Jn. 1:2).

That beginning — when God created the heavens and the earth — can be dated, although I doubt that anyone has yet dated it accurately.  It stretches back into the mists of antiquity, beyond recorded history.  Whether it was thousands or millions or billions of years matters little, but when you go back to that creation the Logos, the Word, was already there, and that is exactly the way this is used — “In the beginning was the Word.”  Notice it is not that He is from the beginning, but in the beginning He was.  It was not in the beginning that the Word started out or was begotten.  WAS is known as a durative imperfect, meaning continued action.  It means that the Word was in the beginning.  What beginning?  Just as far back as you want to go!  The Bible says, “IN the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  Does that begin God?  No!  Just keep going back billions and trillions and “squillions” of years as man reckons time — before creation.  God already was, and the Logos already was; He comes out of eternity to meet us.  He did not begin.  “In the beginning God.”  “In the beginning was the Word” — He was already there when the beginning was!

“Well,” someone says, “there has to be a beginning somewhere.” 

All right, wherever you begin, He is there.  “In the beginning was the Word” — six words in the original language, and there is not a man on the topside of this earth who can put a date on it or understand it or fathom it.  This first tremendous statement starts us off in eternity, you see!  Far away in the depths of my spirit I see that from all eternity God has been creating.  That never-begun existence of the Word has eternally been the out-raying of the Father’s nature.  To deny the eternal existence of the Word is to deny the eternal ability of God to speak!  How could God speak apart from His Word?  The reason the Word was already there in the beginning, before creation, is because He is the CREATIVE WORD!  And to say that God never created anything before this present material creation in Genesis is to deny God His own being, nature, and expression from eternity.

If God never until recent times created anything, then God eternally never spoke, for His Word is creative.  When God speaks things happen!  If God ever spoke before Genesis 1:1, then He created!  These truths are self-evident.  There has never been a time when there was nothingness and only God in existence.  The scripture says that He is “before all things,” but that doesn’t mean that He eternally existed alone and inactive, only that He is the origin, the source, the cause of all things, as it is written, “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things — for all things originate with Him and come from Him…” (Rom. 11:36).  When you see something existing, whether now, or in some creation previous to this present one, or in another creation after this present one, you can be assured that behind that thing, yea, before that thing, there was God for He is the source and origin of it all!  That is what Paul meant when he penned those remarkable words declaring of God, and of His Word, “He is before all things!”

Like all other names, THE LOGOS has its own meaning — a meaning which does not appear in the English translation, “the Word.”  Logos carries with it the idea of a word spoken, speech, eloquence, reason, thought, intent, and concept.  It refers not only to the word that is spoken, expressed, and manifested, but also to the purpose, thought, intent, and will of God behind that which is expressed.  “For the word of God is quick, and powerful” (Heb. 4:12).  The word of God is quick.  That doesn’t mean fast; rather the word is LIVING!  That’s how it is in the Greek.  You see, a word is the expression of a thought, a purpose, an intent, a will.  In order to have a word, you need a Thinker.  The Father is a great Thinker!  The Father thought, and then the Father spoke.  And from the bosom of the Father, the Word came forth and that Word was LIVING and POWERFUL!  That Word was, in fact, the LIVING CREATIVE ENERGY OF GOD.  A word is spoken by forcing air or breath out through the mouth.  Shhiiish!  The Hebrew word for spirit is ruwach meaning “breath” or “wind.”  God speaks by His Spirit!  His Word is formed by His Spirit or Breath, just as our words are formed by our breath.  Can you not see the mystery?  The Spirit is Life!  Jesus said, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.”  He meant that His words originated out of the action of God’s Spirit, just as our words originate out of the action of our breath.  And therefore they are a Living Word for they are formed and proceed out of His Living Spirit!  It was by God’s Word that all things were created, for the Word flowed forth from the eternal wisdom by which God declared the purposes of His infinite mind, and it came forth in the power of His Spirit.  The Word flowed forth from divine omnipotence by which He brought all the starry heavens and all the hosts of them into existence.  Consider the divisions of matter: energy, motion, phenomena.  ENERGY: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” — that’s energy!  And how was that energy released?  God SPOKE!  “And God said, Let there be…and there was!”

Every rational person has to confront this problem of how the universe began. 

That is the reason evolution has been popular — it offers to the natural man an explanation for the origin of the universe.  Of course, it does not offer him an explanation for the origin of energy or matter!  You must have an explanation for it, if you do any thinking at all.  Where did it come from?  Well, here is the answer, “In the beginning was the Word.”  God spoke.  That is the first thing that happened.  When God speaks, when the Word goes forth, energy is translated into matter.  That is all matter is — it is energy slowed down in its vibration until it changes form, becoming tangible and visible.  What is atomic fission?  It is matter translated back into energy — poof! it disappears.  Creation began with energy.  In the beginning was the Word.  The Word was with God, the Word was God.  The Word came out of God by the power of His Spirit.  The plans and purposes of God for the ages were conceived in His mind and spoken forth in an omnipotent decree through THE WORD, the SPEAKING, LIVING, POWERFUL, CREATIVE WORD that was with God in the beginning.

Creation having been brought forth, the Word then stood in unique relationship between God and His creation.  Logos means not only the inward thought and purpose of God, but the utterance, expression, or manifestation of that thought.  The eminent Greek scholar, Dr. M. R. Vincent, comments on this word, “Logos therefore signifies both the outward form by which the inward thought is expressed, and the inward thought itself.  The idea is of God, who is in His own nature hidden, revealing Himself in creation.”

Every person is revealed by his word! 

The word is the expression of the one speaking the word, as it is written, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.”  One may speak beautiful words of compassion and love, or stinging words of malice and hate.  When these words spill out of one’s mouth we know what manner of person He is!  He has indeed birthed a part of himself and nothing around him is ever the same again, for his words are powerful and creative, reproducing in others out of himself.  Christ is indeed the Word, for He was birthed right from the heart-center of God.  That which was expressed by Him in thought, word, and deed, was the very essence and character of His Father.  When this Word became flesh and dwelt among us, the glory of the Father could for the first time be seen in the world as a personality. He is the manifest declaration of the Father. “He that has seen me, has seen the Father; for I and the Father are one.”  “He is the sole expression of the glory of God, the Light-being, the out-raying or the radiance of the divine, and He is the perfect imprint and very image of God’s nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding the universe by His mighty word of  power” (Heb. 1:3, Amplified).

We sometimes try to comprehend the God that is not of this natural realm, this material dimension, by looking at ourselves and thinking God looks like us.  The truth is, God doesn’t look like us!  As beautiful and noble as mankind is, God doesn’t in any way resemble man.  There is no “old man” with a long flowing white beard sitting on a throne up in the heavens!  The Word was made flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, but the man Christ Jesus was not sitting there with God upon a throne from eternity.  The nature, the function of the Word, was there with God in the beginning, and this nature, this expression of God as Word was God.  All the faculties and attributes of God were eternally with God and were God.  All that God is in spirit, character, and substance are eternal realities in God, unchangeable and invariable.  The Word, the Logos, was in God from eternity.

God always possessed the ability of speech! 

That’s what “the Word” is — God’s expression in speech, the emanation of His thought.  God purposed to make His Word visible, just as we do when we write our thoughts in a book or present them in a stage play or a movie.  What was God’s original language?  Was it English?  Was it Aramaic?  Was it Chinese?  Someone says, “Hebrew was the original pure and divine language.”  Was it?  It really doesn’t matter, because when God decided to speak clearly and definitively to man He spoke in the person of His Son, Jesus the Christ.  Jesus Himself is the language of God!  Jesus spoke Aramaic — that was the common language in Galilee in the days of Christ.  God did not speak to humanity in Aramaic, however.  God spoke in His Son!  It was not what Jesus said or the language He spoke that made Him the Logos, the Word — it was who and what He was!  Jesus didn’t just speak the words of God, He was and is the Word of God!  In order to come down into a world of darkness and reveal Himself unto men God made His Word flesh.  The Word was not made Hebrew.  The Word was not made a book.  The Word was made flesh!  The Word did not become a language, the Word became a man and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the uniquely begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

We have already shown that God is before all things. 

This shows that He exists in the realm of nothingness, that is, no-thing-ness, a dimension far removed from our conception of “things” or “matter.”  So what was the first thing God did out of His nothingness — His no-thing-ness?  He made words.  He spoke!  The inception of all creation is just this: “And God said, Let there be.”  Isn’t it interesting that that is the first activity of God recorded?  Why did He not create first, and then speak?  Why did He not first play a harp, and at the sound of the music stars were born?  The mystery is just this — when God spoke HE EMANATED OUT OF NOTHING INTO SOMETHING!  His first emanation was in the form of words.  The Word is God.  The Word is not something God created, the Word is God Himself in emanation, expression, revelation.

God didn’t speak in English or Hebrew when He said, “Let there be light!” 

Had you been there you wouldn’t have heard anything!  We are not to suppose that a voice was heard in the chaos, for His speech was the very creative energy of His thought and flowed forth as spirit and life.  His speech was the putting forth of His power, which was the emanation of Himself.  Here we are dealing not with a power as such, but with a personality.  That which God put forth is Himself.  God is not a reservoir of power.  He IS power!  The putting forth of His power is the putting forth out of Himself of Himself.  The Word is not another person, a second God, a second person of the Godhead, but GOD HIMSELF IN EMANATION.

Yet—when the Word of God is communicated to man it takes a form that man can understand.

Language is a miracle and a gift of God.  Jesus Himself is called the Word, so it’s no surprise that  words are what join us to God and to our neighbors.  Words are so bound up with what we call “thought” that it’s sometimes hard to distinguish the two.  The French philosopher Rene Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am.”  That is true, but he needed more than just thought to prove he existed; he also needed the words!  I don’t know that he lived, or what manner of man he was, because of his thoughts — I know because of his words.  Understand this and you will understand a great mystery: God’s Word is the connecting link between God and His creation!

So we conclude that the “Word” as it has been revealed to man has been the visible expression of the invisible God.  In other words, the invisible God embodied Himself in a visible form that could be seen, heard, touched, handled, understood, and comprehended on the earth plane.  The Bible declares that “God is a spirit” and since God is spirit He is invisible and unknowable unless He chooses to manifest Himself in some form visible to man.  God told Moses, “Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.”  “No man hath seen God at any time.”  Not only has no man ever seen God, but no man can see God (I Tim. 6:16).  Several times the Bible describes God as invisible (Col. 1:15; I Tim. 1:17; Heb. 11:27).  Although man can see God when He appears in various forms, no man can see directly the invisible Spirit of God.  The physical eyes of man have never beheld a spirit; all he sees is the form that spirit manifests itself in.

Since God is an invisible spirit and is also omnipresent, He does not have a body as we know it.  Every time God wanted to talk personally to someone or manifest Himself, He had to borrow, as it were, a body to manifest Himself in.  All through the Old Testament God revealed Himself and dealt with man on man’s level through the use of what theology calls theophanies.  A theophany is a visible manifestation of God, and we usually think of it as temporary in nature.  To make Himself visible, to communicate Himself on the material plane, He manifested Himself in a physical form.  Even though no one can see the Spirit of God, he can see a symbol or a representation of God.  The Logos, or the Christ, is God revealed!  It is God in His Self-revealings.  The Logos is God expressed, God uttering Himself, God’s means of Self-disclosure.

God often appeared to men through the manifestation of “the angel (messenger; word) of the Lord” (Jud. 6:20; II Sam. 24:16; I Kings 19:5-7).  This “angel” of the Lord appeared to Hagar, spoke as though he were God, and was called God by her (Gen. 16:7-13).  The Bible says that the angel of the Lord appeared to Moses in a burning bush, but then says God Himself talked to Moses out of the bush (Ex. 3; Acts 7:30-38).  The angel of the Lord appeared to Israel in Judges 2:1-5 and spoke as God.  Judges 6:11-24 describes the appearance of the angel of the Lord to Gideon and then says the Lord looked on Gideon.  Again the angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah and his wife, and they believed they had seen God (Jud. 13:2-23).  The deity of this unique “angel” is proved by the fact that he is (1) identified as God (Gen. 16:7-13; 18:2-13; 22:1-18; Ex. 3:2-28; Jud. 2:1-5; 6:11-16).  (2) is recognized as God (Gen. 16:9-13; 18:2-13; 22:1-18; Ex. 3:2-18; Jud. 2:1-5; 6:11-16).  (3) is also described in terms befitting the Deity alone (Ex. 3:5-14; Josh. 5:15).  (4) calls Himself God (Gen. 31:11-13; Ex. 3:2-14).  (5) receives worship (Josh. 5:14; Jud. 2:4).  (6) and finally speaks with divine authority (Jud. 2:1-5).

God appeared to Abraham as a smoking furnace and burning lamp, and as a man (Gen. 15:1,17; 18:1-33).   In this last instance, God and two angels appeared in the form of three men (Gen. 18:2) and ate food provided by Abraham.  Two of the angels left to go to Sodom while God remained to talk to Abraham (Gen. 18:22; 19:1).  God appeared to Jacob in a dream and as a man (Gen. 28:12-16; 32:24-32).  On the latter occasion Jacob wrestled with the man and proclaimed, “I have seen God face to face.”  The Bible also describes this appearance as “the angel” (Hos. 12:4).  God appeared to Moses and to all Israel  as a cloud of glory and a pillar of fire and spoke to Moses “face to face” in the tabernacle out of the cloud (Ex. 13:21; 33:9-10).

When God brought Israel out of Egypt and into the wilderness, they had one very distinctive sign. 

They had the cloudy pillar by day and the pillar of fire by night over the encampment.  These told all of the surrounding nations that Israel belonged to Yahweh, that their God was in their midst in power and glory, and they were under God’s protection day and night.  The cloud and the fire were visible both day and night and no enemy could come into the camp even by night, for the fire made it as light as day.  I do not believe that Christians today have any real conception of the marvelous and great  work which God did in delivering the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt!  We have seen pictures painted by some of the great artists supposedly to illustrate this, and we have seen Moses striking the rock with some half-dozen people around him drinking from a stream little larger than a finger, with a cow or two and a few sheep standing near.  What a crude conception of the majesty and glory by which the mighty Yahweh delivered His people!

It is estimated, on the basis of the biblical record, that there were at least two to three million Israelites that came up out of Egypt.  God did a wonderful and mighty work in that Exodus!  It was not a little handful of people that left Egypt, but it was millions that God brought out.  Little wonder that some of the people asked if God could set a table in the wilderness!  For this was a great multitude and God was taking them into a desert place where there was little food for man or beast.  There was no water, and God had the Israelites take no supplies or provisions with them.  GOD WAS THEIR SUPPLY and OUT OF HIMSELF He would feed them!

God further manifested Himself in the sight of all Israel through thunder, lightnings, a voice of a trumpet, smoke, fire, and earthquakes (Ex. 19:11-19; Deut. 5:4-5,22-27).  He also showed His glory and sent fire from His presence in the sight of all Israel (Lev. 9:23-24; 10:1-2).  Job saw God in a whirlwind (Job 38:1; 42:5).  Various prophets saw visions of God.  To Ezekiel He appeared in the form of a man, enveloped in fire.  To Daniel He appeared as the Ancient of Days.  Many other verses of scripture tell us that God appeared to someone but do not describe in what manner He did so.  For example, God appeared to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Samuel (Gen. 12:7; 17:1; 26:2,24; 35:9-15; I Sam. 3:21).  Similarly, God descended on mount Sinai and stood with Moses, revealed Himself to seventy-four elders of Israel, and came at night to Balaam, and met Balaam on two other occasions.

All of these were the Logos, the Word! 

The Word was not a separate person from Yahweh or a separate God any more than a man’s word is a separate person from him.  Thus, the Logos, the expression, manifestation, and revelation of God appeared in many forms.  The burning lamp, the smoking furnace,  the burning bush, the tempest, the angel, the cloud, the pillar of fire, the form of a man — each had its ministry, all in turn served the one grand purpose, like the ray that is broken into many prismatic hues, each revealed something of the nature, power, wisdom, purpose, will, and glory of God. We find that in the phrase “and the word was with God” that this word “with” is the Greek pros meaning TOWARD.  All that the manifestation of the Word of God was, all that He said, all that He showed, all that He did, was pointing TOWARD THE FATHER.  Hence He is rightly called THE WORD OF GOD.  The Word revealed God, led Him forth into view and caused men to turn toward Him, to understand Him, to know Him.

THE WORD MADE FLESH
The apostle Paul frequently spoke of the vast mysteries of God and, in speaking of them, he left no shadow of doubt that naught but the revelation of the Lord could unfold those eternal mysteries.  One of the grandest of those mysteries is set forth by the apostle John in these wonderful words: “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” (Jn. 1:14).  Concerning Jesus Christ, whom the scripture discloses as “the Word made flesh,” it is written, “who is the image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15; II Cor. 4:4); “the express image of His person” or “the very image of His person” (Heb. 1:3).  And we note that this word “person” is actually from the Greek word hupostasis meaning THE SUBSTANCE, or the substratum, what lies under. All the character and inner nature of the Divine was expressed through our Lord Jesus Christ!  All the motive, the purpose, the heart and intent of God toward His creation was revealed to us through Jesus, “to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself” (II Cor. 5:19).  The seed of our new creation life is this same Logos, the Word is again being made flesh in us, and through our union with Christ Jesus in and by the Spirit we are to be “as He is.”

God no longer needs to “borrow” or materialize Himself into a “body” in which to express and reveal Himself, no more does He send the burning bush, or the fire, or the cloud, or the angel, or the form of a man.  For the first time Yahweh has a permanent, eternal body in which to walk and talk and show forth Himself to mankind — THE CHRIST, Head and body, His house of sons!  In the Old Testament manifestations the revelation of Himself was in fragments.  No one manifestation could speak all truth, each was but one or two syllables in the mighty sentences of God’s speech.  At the best the view caught of God was partial and limited.  But in Jesus there is nothing of the piece-meal revelation!  “In Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9).  He has fully revealed the Father!  Whosoever hath seen Him hath seen God; and to hear His words and behold His glory is to get the full-orbed revelation of the infinite.

The question follows: How could the Word become flesh? 

How could God become a man? The Greek text has it, not that the Word “was made” flesh, but that the Word “became” flesh.  There is a vast difference between these two propositions! If I say, “The wood was made into a chair,” it denotes an action upon, an action from without; some person or force beyond the wood acted upon the wood and the wood, by no involvement on its own part, was made into a chair. If, on the other hand, I say, “The young man became a doctor,” it denotes an action on the part of the subject. Nobody outside of the young man forced him and somehow “made” him a doctor, but he himself went to medical school, studied, burned the midnight oil, passed the exams, fulfilled his internship, and thus he became a doctor.” “Was made” bespeaks of an action upon an object from without; “became” bespeaks of a personal accomplishment from within!

“Let his mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him(self) the form of a servant, and (thus) was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:5-8). In all this He did it Himself! God Himself, through the power of His Word, brought forth Himself as a man. Oh, the mystery of it! When we think of Christ’s humiliation we think of Him being born in a stable in Bethlehem and dying upon a cross. But that is nothing at all compared to the humiliation of God becoming a man, as man is in corruptible flesh — that’s humiliation! And this Word of God, the very creative energy of God spoke Himself into flesh! It was no more difficult to transmute Himself into flesh than to create any other thing. He became what He had created back in the beginning.  He created man — now He Himself became a man. He became flesh. When you say “flesh” the word in the Greek doesn’t mean meat — a body and blood. It means the total personality. He became a real man — not something different!

THE WORD B-E-C-A-M-E   F-L-E-S-H

The language of God is His Word. God and His Word are inseparable. The same eternal Word that spoke the worlds into existence became flesh and dwelt among us! The Father spoke and from the bosom of the Father the Word came forth and was made flesh and tabernacled among men. GOD was manifest in the FLESH (I Tim. 3:16). The Speech of God became the Son of God in human form.  Here comes God out of eternity, He comes to Bethlehem, a little baby that made a woman cry. And notice now, “And we beheld His glory, the glory as of the ONLY BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER, full of grace and truth” (Jn. 1:14). Now He is saying something else! This Word made flesh is the SON OF GOD — full of grace and truth. The word “full” means that you just could not have any more! He brought all the Deity with Him, and He was full of grace and full of truth when He came down here as the SON OF GOD.

Surely these are simple truths that even a child can understand! 

The Word was made flesh. The Word made flesh was the only begotten of the Father. The Word made flesh was the Son of God. But note well, my brother, my sister, it does not say that the eternal Word was the Son, nor does it say that the Son was made flesh. Oh, no! The Word made flesh was the Son!  Can you not see the mystery? The Word has now become the Son and the Son is now the Word.  There is no truth in all the scriptures set forth, and greater emphasized, than that Jesus was the Son of the Father. God Himself dispatched the mighty angel Gabriel from heaven to first declare it! As the hour approached for Jesus to be conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary, Gabriel announced to the astonished Galilean maiden, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee:  therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Lk. 1:35).

When Jesus had been baptized by John in the river Jordan, God spoke from heaven and said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Lk. 3:22).  Again, when Jesus had taken Peter, James, and John up into the mount, and was transfigured before them, a voice came from heaven and said the same thing, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him” (Mat. 17:5).  There is neither time nor space to even begin to quote the vast multitude of scriptures that declare Jesus to be the Son of God.  Even the devils that possessed some people, recognized Him as God’s Son.  The Roman Centurion, when he had witnessed the things that happened when Jesus was crucified, with astonished wonder cried out, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

It seems, from the writings of the apostles, that it is very important that we believe that Jesus is the Son of God.  Not that He was GOD THE SON, as popular religion tells us, but that He was GOD’S SON.  “God the Son” is not a scriptural term.  You will not find it anywhere in the Bible!  “The blessed second person of the Godhead” is not a scriptural term.  It is not in the Bible!  “Jesus is in the Godhead” is not a scriptural term.  The Bible, in fact, says just the opposite!  Here is what the scripture really says: “For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily”  (Col. 2:9.)  If the reader will earnestly consider these words he will surely see that the scripture does not say that JESUS IS IN THE GODHEAD; rather, it says that THE GODHEAD IS IN JESUS!  Is there not a world of difference between Jesus being in the Godhead and the Godhead being in Jesus?  THE MAN CHRIST JESUS CONTAINED WITHIN HIMSELF ALL THE FULLNESS OF GOD!  And He still does!  “In Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily,” but it doesn’t stop there, for it goes on to say, “And ye are complete in Him.”  Can we not see by these words that the body of Christ is the completion of God’s Christ, the fullness of God is revealed in God’s called and chosen elect, and only in that blessed and awe-inspiring fact is fulfilled the words, “For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”  YOU ARE THE BODY IN WHICH THE FULLNESS OF THE GODHEAD DWELLS!  You are the body of Christ!  The fullness of God dwells in the Christ bodily!  That is the mystery!  It is God dwelling in us that makes us sons of God, just as it was God dwelling in Jesus that made Him the son of God.

The Son of God did not become the Word; it was the Word who was made flesh and became the Son.  Jesus knew that the Word in Him was God. He was actually living and acting and speaking the Word which was God — not the word that God had spoken! It wasn’t teaching the scriptures that made Him the Word of God, but the revealing of the mind, heart, and will of the Father. That is why He was able to still the sea, raise the dead, change the elements, discern the thoughts and hearts of all men, and do all the other tremendous things He did! “The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself; but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works” (Jn. 14:10). The Deity in Jesus was not God the Son; the Deity in Jesus was THE FATHER! Jesus was the Father speaking! He constantly acknowledged that of Himself He could do nothing, it was the Father dwelling in Him that did the works. Would that not be a strange thing for the “second person of the Godhead” to say — “I can do nothing of myself, the Father in me doeth the works?” One God is impotent, while the other God is mighty! The work of Jesus, the Son, however, was the extension of the Father’s work. This extension did not only occur through Jesus, but it also occurs through us! That is what sonship is! We are not “God the sons,” but we are “the sons of God” and it is the Father dwelling in us that makes us sons and who does the works.

This brings us back to the Logos, the Word. 

The clear and unmistakable testimony of scripture is that “In the beginning was the Word.”  In the beginning the Word already was.  He comes out of eternity to meet us.  He was already there when the beginning was.  But nowhere do we find the scripture that says, “In the beginning was the SON, and the SON was with God, and the SON was God.”  Oh, how men misquote the scripture!  You see, my beloved, the eternal WORD was MADE FLESH and so BECAME THE SON, the Son of God, full of grace and truth.  Jesus was and is the Word, and the Word existed as long as God existed, but the Son was that eternal Word made flesh, and we in Him are the Word made flesh, for God is finding expression in us as we are born of His Spirit, conformed to His image, matured in His nature, filled with His mind, the revelation of the Father in the Son here in the earth realm.  The Son was that eternal Word made a man, yea, a God-man, dwelling among us, resurrected, glorified, ascended, coming again in His many-membered body of God-men, the very sons of God, who are as He is in this world, Emmanuel, God with us forevermore!    

The Christ is the Word of God and the words that He speaks are spirit and they are life! 

As the Word, Jesus could say, “Before Abraham was, I AM” (Jn. 8:58). But as the Son He receives the witness of the Father, “Thou art my Son, THIS DAY HAVE I BEGOTTEN THEE” (Heb. 1:5).  The mystery is that God in the spirit of every man is the Word of God! Deep within every man is the testimony of God, even that Word which from the beginning was the life of men, and which now enlightens every man coming into the world (Jn. 1:4,9). That is why all men are “religious” by nature and are seeking after God in one way or another. For a man to believe in God, and the spiritual world, and to desire God is just as natural as it is for a dog to bark. The dog barks because it is inherent in his nature to bark. In the same way there is a “word” in each of us from the moment we enter this world, the voice of God in our spirit! That voice, however, is muffled and distorted by the outer flesh, the carnal mind, and the manipulation of the spirit of the world. That is why we must be regenerated, our spirit quickened by God’s Spirit, bringing the release of the Voice of God within us! Then as that Word within us is made flesh, made substance within us, raised up by the quickening power of the Spirit of God (our salvation) to find expression in the totality in of our being —  WE BECOME THE SONS OF GOD!

THE INTERFACE OF GOD AND CREATION
We stated earlier that in that long ago beginning where we meet time, where we meet creation, we also meet the Word.  In this fact lies the great and eternal truth of God’s creative processes.  Creation will become very meaningful to us once we understand that it is at the borderline of eternity and time that we meet the Word.  Where time and eternity junction is where we find the Word!  Where spirit and matter meet is where we encounter the Word!  Where God and creation interface is where we confront the Word!  Now, why is that?  It’s because in creation God, the eternal Spirit, is PROJECTING HIMSELF OUT OF HIMSELF TO BRING FORTH HIMSELF IN ANOTHER DIMENSION.  And He does this by His Word!

Creation begins with this simple action, “And God said.”  The projection of God out of Himself is His Word!  “And God said, let there be.”  In that blessed moment the thought of God, the intent of God, the will of God, the energy of God, the creative force of God, the authority and power of God issued out of Himself and produced on another plane the form of that which He spoke. And that’s why the scripture says, “We are aware that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God except One. For even if so be that there are those being termed gods, whether in heaven or on earth, even as there are many gods and many lords, nevertheless to us there is but one God, the Father (not the “Holy Trinity”!), O-U-T OF WHOM ALL IS, and we for Him” (I Cor. 8:4-7). Again, “O, the depth of the riches and of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God!  How inscrutable are His judgments, and untraceable His ways! For who knew the mind of the Lord? or who became His adviser? or who gives to Him first, and will be repaid by Him? seeing that ALL is OUT of Him and through Him and for Him: to Him be glory for the ages!  Amen!” (Rom. 11:33-36).

Our God and Father has been pleased to leave us in no doubt or uncertainty as to how or where all things began, but in clear, unequivocal language stated the source and goal of all things for our assurance and joy. All originated IN HIM, came forth OUT OF HIM, created from the substance of His own divine energy and being! Agnostics, atheists, and evolutionists are the most careless and  unscientific of all thinkers and reasoners. The fact is that for every effect there must be a cause. The order, harmony, laws, complexity, power and beauty of creation demand a cause,  indeed a great mind and a vast source. To have an effect without a cause is the most ludicrous concept imaginable!  All “things” came out of God in and by His Word!

Let me put it this way. 

Suppose you are the creator and you are spirit.  Beside you there are no things.  You are all there is!  But your desire, your intent, is to make some things.  You can’t reach outside of yourself because there is nothing there — no material of any kind out of which to construct any thing.  You can’t latch on to something that exists apart from or beyond yourself.  So you must make it out of yourself!  That is what it means, “For of Him, and out of Him, and through Him are all things!”

The agency of this change from the invisible to the visible, from spirit to matter, from God to creation is THE WORD!  God projects Himself out of Himself to bring forth Himself in another dimension.  This process is accomplished by THE CREATIVE WORD OF GOD!  The word is the seed that comes out of God’s mouth, and it has the energy to perform everything that it is sent to produce.  When God’s Word is heard and received by us it produces God’s purpose in us by the energy of that word.  When the Word of God goes forth it goes forth in the power of God’s life and spirit and is able to make the conversion from pure spirit to things visible and tangible.  It happens through the Word which is the seed.  The seed of a man is called sperm and comes forth through the sex organ to produce another life.  The seed of God comes forth out of His mouth and is called His Word, and just as a seed planted in the dark soil of a garden springs forth into the world of light and is raised up into another form, the form of wonderful plants, so the seed of God brings forth God on another dimension.  There is contained here another revelation of the Creator of the universe.  Universe is a compound word, uni meaning “one,” and verse meaning “spoken word.”  One spoken word!  God’s Word!  He didn’t need anything more than that.  It was a very short uni-verse, simply “let there be” and there was!  That is the greatest moment of history.  It is the story of creation.  What we call the “universe” is the manifestation out of one spoken word of God!  Oh, the mystery of it!

When God projects Himself out of Himself to bring forth Himself on another dimension there is an intersecting or interfacing of dimensions!  That junction is the Word!  That is where time and eternity, spirit and matter, God and creation, and the Father and His sons all meet — at the Word.  The Word is the crossroads, the star-gate, if you please, where two dimensions connect.  To pass from one dimension to the other you must go through the interface or stargate.  The Word is the passageway from eternity to time, from spirit to matter, from invisible God to visible creation!

Today God is bringing forth a NEW CREATION!  He is not producing this new creation by any method different than all other creations.  Only His intent and purpose is different — therefore what He speaks is different!  The new human-spiritual or God-man creation is being formed by the seed — the Word of God!  “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God which liveth and abideth forever” (I Pet. 1:23).  I think the following beautiful chorus was written by Charlotte Torango:

I’m created by the Word
Resurrected I stand;
Brought forth in the likeness
Of the great I AM;
Unveiling the mystery
Of God’s great plan —
I in thee, Thee in me, and we in Him!

Oh, yes! 

The Word of God is a seed. When the Lord Jesus taught the multitudes the awesome principles of the kingdom of God, He told them and us that the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that goes out and sows seed in a field. He spoke several parables which embody different aspects of this great truth, the parable of the seed that fell into different kinds of soil; the tiny mustard seed that became a great tree; the seed that produced different percentages of harvest, and so on. The seed is the word of the kingdom, Jesus said. The life, the power, and the substance is in the seed! The Word is God! The invisible power of God in His Word results in a visible manifestation on another plane! When the Word of God, the Word of the kingdom, or the Word of any purpose of God in your life comes to you, my brother, my sister, eternity comes to you. That which is formed in your life is transmitted out of God, through the Word, and into you. The Word is the connection, the crossroads, the intersection, the junction, the stargate, the interface between God and your destiny as a manifest son of God!

The power to change you, transform you, and make you everything that God has apprehended you to be is in that Word, for the Word is a creative seed with power. God is even now changing His called and chosen elect into the image and likeness of Himself, and He shall change even our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto Christ’s body of resurrection and glory. Yea, our Father shall change all things in this world and bring about a new order. How shall He do this? By speaking forth His Word! By the simplicity of His Word God created the sun, moon, stars, and all the hosts of the universe in the beginning! By His Word He created the heavens and the earth and everything in them! By His Word our omniscient and omnipotent Father put the animals, the birds, the fish, and all creeping things on this earth. By His Word God formed man and placed him in the paradise of Eden.  Also by His Word our sovereign Father birthed the church age and all the accomplishment of it.

Now, also by His Word, our creative Father has ushered in a new age, a new feast, a new day, a new manifestation and glory, a higher order of the kingdom of God on earth!  Those who are walking in the Spirit know of a certainty that this new age and order has begun.  It has been birthed and has now begun in the hearts and lives of God’s sons!  And it has come to us by His Word!  When we catch a vision of that realm where eternity and time converge, where spirit and matter meet, where God and creation intersect, where the Father and His sons connect, we will understand how it is that all the purposes of God are fulfilled by the simplicity of the Word!  We know that as we proclaim the Word of the kingdom the Father has sent forth into our hearts, that it shall bring forth a creative harvest in all the earth until all peoples and tongues and nations are brought under the righteous dominion of the sons of God.  It has already brought forth a mighty harvest of sons throughout the whole world who are maturing into the stature of God’s Christ!

Faith is not rooted in the word of a man, but in an eternal utterance. 

God’s Word cannot be divorced from Himself!  If you hear the Word, you hear God.  The Word of God is just as fresh and vigorous as when He stood on creation morn commanding chaos to loose its hold and let order come forth.  The Word falling upon our inner spiritual ear is as powerful and life-giving as when Jesus was here speaking to the tumultuous sea, commanding, “Peace!  Be still!”  or “Ought not this woman, whom Satan hath bound, be loosed from her infirmity?” or to the impotent man by the pool of Bethesda, “Arise, take up thy bed and walk!” or to Lazarus in the dankness of his tomb, “Lazarus, come forth!” or when he spoke to the demons but two words of authority, “Come out!”  There is no long cajoling, hoping, straining, but His Word is final and divinely effective.  All must bow.  He is Master.  He rules sovereign.  Elements, disease, sin, demons, and death all give sway to His Word.  FOR HE IS THE WORD!  That is the secret for every son of God.  We are becoming the Word, the Word made flesh in us, so that the Word is more than something we speak — it is what we are!

In the dawning of the ages,
Stands the Logos all supreme;
The beginning of creation,
Time begins and ends in Him.

Of creation, He’s the Alpha,
Time and timelessness doth span;
Of salvation, He’s Omega,
Mediates ‘tween God and man.

In beginning is the Logos,
The projection of God’s Word;
Heads, both old and new creation,
Beginning both to one accord;

At first in time the Logos stands,
Radiation of God’s grace;

As the vital, living Word,
Integrates the human race.
Towards the Father is the Logos,
The expression of His mind;

Generation of God’s essence,
Breath of Life to all mankind.

First He stands in God’s own image,
Representing God in man;

For the Father is the Logos,
A trajectory of His plan.

The Logos spans both first and last;
Alpha and Omega — He,
Proceeding from the Father’s heart,
Permeates humanity.

Reflecting God’s effulgent love,
The glory of the Father, we —
Stand completed in the Logos,
Actually His Word to be.

For the Logos stands in Christed,
Bridging time and eternity;

And the e’er expanding Word,
Brings to man Christ’s liberty.

Man united in the Logos,
Speaking all things into one;
Bringing forth the consummation —
Rise and shine — Ye Blessed
—    Dora Van Assen

To be continued…