From the Beginning
By Gerald Flurry • September 11
The Apostle John had as much depth as any Bible writer, I believe. His relationship with Jesus Christ was especially close. They spent a lot of time together because Christ was preparing John for a work beyond what the other apostles would do. This powerful instruction from Christ is evident in John’s writings: a Gospel account, three epistles and the book of Revelation.
The first three Gospel accounts, Matthew, Mark and Luke, are called the Synoptic Gospels because they give a summary of the special events of Christ’s life on Earth. John’s account was different in many ways. He wrote about the history of the Word, the eternal God Being who later became the physical man Christ. John waited about 60 years before recording the outstanding story of Christ’s life and work, allowing himself lots of time to contemplate what his message would be.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). The Word was the Spokesman for God. Eventually, God became God the Father, and the Word became Christ the Son. John transports us all the way back to the real beginning—when there were no angels, no universe, and even no time itself. We must understand this vision to grasp God’s plan.
“In the Synoptic Gospels, there is no direct statement of the preexistence of Christ,” the Westcott Commentary says. Only John discussed the Word. This is the “beginning of the movie.” If you start watching a movie midway through, you will be confused.
“The same was in the beginning with God” (verse 2). The Word was with God, in perfect unity, from the beginning. Imagine having this kind of unity for all eternity! This world is the opposite—bitterly divided. God is trying to teach us unity today. This should obviously be a high priority for our society, but it isn’t.
Until the rebellion of the archangel Lucifer, division didn’t exist anywhere in the universe. Soon, the whole world will be filled with light—all darkness removed forever (verses 4-5).
Here’s another “from the beginning” reference by John: “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). The ultimate beginning is when only God and the Word existed. Here, “from the beginning” means something different, but it still makes us think about the long history preceding the creation of mankind. Pondering the beginning gives us the greatest vision of our lives!
Sin began with Lucifer, who contorted into Satan as a result of rebellion. God gave him an opportunity to establish the government of God on Earth, but his rebellion wrecked Earth and the universe. If you can understand this, you will know your glorious future.
Lucifer was once a majestic covering cherub—his wings sheltered God’s throne! He was trained by God directly. We have no idea how long; it could have been millions of years. He was created for the responsibility of ruling Earth and administering God’s loving government, but he failed. At that moment, it was proved that God couldn’t trust the angels to rule the universe.
God shifted from the angelic Plan A to Plan B—re-creating Himself in human beings. Only God—including spirit born former humans—could be trusted to spread His perfect law of love throughout the universe. We have the potential to be born as sons of God!
Satan has been deadly deceptive toward God’s own Church, making thousands of members forget this wonderful, miraculous future that is awesome beyond words.
“And unto 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” (Revelation 3:14). In warning His rebellious Laodicean people, God takes us back to the “beginning of the creation of God.” We need this “from the beginning” understanding, especially so close to the Second Coming.
“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth” (verses 15-16). The reason the Laodiceans rebelled is because they lost the vision of the foundational beginning! Satan has deceived 95 percent of God’s own people.
From the beginning is about the time before even the angels existed. No one outside of God’s Church understands this wonderful truth! We need to understand this because God only decided to create man after the third of the angels on Earth sinned and showed they weren’t capable of ruling the universe. The Word then became flesh and walked the Earth as part of God’s plan to re-create Himself in human beings. This is all about the purpose and potential of every person who has ever lived.
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life” (1 John 1:1). Only John repeatedly returned to the beginning. The Word became Jesus Christ. People could see and touch Him! He became a human to give His life for our sins so we could be reconciled to the Father through the Holy Spirit.
This is almost surreal. Humans were mesmerized by God Himself living among them. Physically, nothing about Christ made Him any different from anyone else. Spiritually, He was very different. He delivered vision to mankind.
“I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one” (1 John 2:13-14). Here, John is starting to delve into the Family of God. He addresses fathers, young men and little children, all of whom have a chance to know the Word, who later became Jesus Christ!
“Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father” (verse 24). This is about family. God will bring many sons unto glory (Hebrews 2:10). Father, Son, millions and billions more sons: The true gospel is the good news of the coming Kingdom or Family of God (Mark 1:14). This is mind shattering!
In a letter to Worldwide Church of God members, Herbert W. Armstrong wrote:
Now came the crowning pinnacle of even God’s unmatched creative power! Now came the very zenith of all divine accomplishment! Now came a project so incredulously transcendentally awesome it is hard for the human mind to grasp. Now God decided after the angels rebelled to re-create Himself in man because it was the only way that the Earth and the universe could be ruled by anybody other than Himself. Only He could be trusted to rule the Earth and the universe, so He decided to re-create Himself in man.
This truth is so deep, it’s hard for us to grasp!
“And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it” (2 John 5-6). No other New Testament writer besides John discussed who Christ was “from the beginning”: the Word of God. God’s law has been in effect since only God and the Word existed.
“Remember the price that was paid for your sins!” I wrote in my booklet The Last Hour. “This is what you need to remember ‘from the beginning’—you need to understand deeply who died for you!” Christ lived and walked among human beings on Earth. Anyone could see and touch Him. The whole reason He was here was to die for our sins! It was a bloody sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice, all so we could be a part of the God Family. I continue:
This understanding needs the deepest kind of emphasis in your mind.
John is reminding us and himself who this Jesus Christ really was—who He was from the beginning. This is the Being the apostles had seen with their eyes and “looked upon” (gazed upon is a better translation), and their hands had handled. This was not just a man sent from God. This was one of the two great members of the God Family who are eternal. John wanted to make certain he never forgot the whole wonderful story—from the beginning.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12). God is offering you magnificent glory. It takes spiritual power to obtain this. Even the fiery angels never had the opportunity to become spirit-born sons of God! (Hebrews 1:13). Through the resurrections, every human who has ever lived will have an opportunity to choose to become a son of God.
“No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:18). As a human, Jesus Christ was a masterpiece of submission. He always obeyed His Father and told everyone His Father was greater than Him. It’s obvious why God can trust Him to rule the universe.
Work hard to understand this “from the beginning” truth—the eternal prehistory of God and the Word, why the angels failed, and how you can succeed. Those who declare this message today will become Christ’s Bride and rule from David’s throne with Christ for all eternity!Read More