Chapter 1: God Family Spokesman
Where is the beginning of the Bible narrative? It is not, as most would suppose, the first verse of the Bible: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). The first verse in John’s Gospel is about a time long before human experience, long before the universe and long before even the angels. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). Chronologically, John 1:1 actually predates Genesis 1:1.
Why, of all the books of the Bible, the gospels in particular, would John give this account? John wrote his Gospel long after the other three—Matthew, Mark and Luke. So he actually was able to give us a lot more depth.
John’s Gospel is the most profound of the four, because—as the Bible reveals—he had a special relationship with Jesus Christ. He had a deeper understanding of who Christ really was. And because he outlived all the other apostles, he also had a longer time to meditate on this message.
John is the only biblical writer who wrote about the Word. (He also authored the books of 1, 2, 3 John and Revelation. In 1 John and Revelation he also mentioned “the Word.”) What is the meaning of “the Word”? Who is the Word? Why was John the only Gospel writer to mention the Word?
The Awesome ‘Plan B’
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). There are two Beings discussed here. God and the Word. As Herbert W. Armstrong made plain in his masterful book Mystery of the Ages, these two made one God—like one family. They were both God in the same sense that two members of the same family could both be Smith.
This one verse tells the story of a past eternity. Here was a “time” when there was only God and the Word. Nothing yet had been created—not even a single angel.
Could there be a more powerful introduction in all the Bible? John was one of the “sons of thunder” (see Mark 3:17), and what a thunderous introduction to this gospel—taking the reader back beyond the angelic plan to when there was only God and the Word.
Why? Why does he go back even before the angelic plan? Probably because of what happened to Lucifer and one third of the angels. That plan—we could call it “Plan A”—had failed. Lucifer, whose name literally means light bringer, brought light, but then something tragic happened. He lost this light. God and the Word had lived together for all eternity in unity and in love. After the angels were created, Lucifer and one third of the angels rebelled. And for the first time ever in the universe, there was rebellion, disunity and a lack of love.
God didn’t inspire John to mention that rebellion in John 1:1, because God now had another plan—a better plan!
The angels—who were sent to beautify the Earth, who should have then qualified to do the same to the entire universe—failed. So God had to enact another plan. He had a “Plan B,” just in case something like this were to happen. Plan B is actually a family plan. God had decided, if He couldn’t get the angels to do that job, that He would re-create Himself in man and make a Family.
This was a plan that mankind alone could be a part of! It was not offered to Lucifer and the angels. Men, now, are invited into the Family of God!
But Plan B involved tremendous risk! Now God was taking a chance of losing the Word, who later became His Son upon begettal in the virgin Mary. The Word would have to divest Himself of His eternal glory and live a perfect life, as a mortal, human being, to qualify as the unblemished sacrificial lamb to pay the tremendous price for the sins of all mankind (John 1:14, 29). What if the Word were to sin? His death would then only pay for His own sins, and it would not have been possible to resurrect Him. That would have left only one God and no Savior—no family, no future for mankind!
That may very well be why God made it Plan B—because it was so risky! Imagine God, the one who became the Father, being alone for all eternity in the vast universe—with two thirds of the angels, of course, but nevertheless without the Word, His only eternal companion. Only God and the Word have no beginning of days.
Of course, that wasn’t what happened. The Word—Jesus Christ—came to Earth and succeeded.
Before the Beginning
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” What was going on with God and the Word before they created the angels and the universe? This is a good question, and one that God doesn’t really answer in the Bible. We know all about the mystery of God and the Bible, as unlocked in Mystery of the Ages. But what about the mystery before the ages?
That knowledge will undoubtedly be revealed after humans are born into God’s Family as spirit beings. There is still a lot we don’t know, and that is exciting to think about. John gets closer to the answer than any of the Bible’s other writers. Think about this: Perhaps God gave him a glimpse of what it was like because of his special relationship with Christ. Great things happen when you are close to God. God wants that kind of relationship with all of us.
How much did John know? How much did Christ tell him when He was talking to him? Christ did say He loved John in a special way—he was “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23; 20:2; 21:7, 20). Not that Christ loved him any more than the others, but perhaps He could talk to him about deeper subjects than He could with the others. You do wonder why the other Gospel authors didn’t write about the Word.
John says, “In the beginning.” We need to focus our attention on this time long before Genesis 1:1. Even then, the expression “in the beginning” is not quite adequate. It’s just for our sake. God doesn’t have a beginning. He inhabits eternity (Isaiah 57:15). That means there was no time—if you can comprehend that!
Why must we try to grasp these concepts? Well, if we are to be eternal God beings, then we have to think about eternity! We need to have God’s perspective; God doesn’t think about time the way we do (2 Peter 3:8). God, through John’s opening statement in John 1:1, is grooming us to think in terms of eternity! What inspiring depth we must strive to comprehend!
The Word—the Logos
In the “beginning” was the Word—the Greek word is Logos, meaning Spokesman. The Logos is the Spokesman for the Godhead. Therefore, He came to Earth with a message. The first chapter of John makes that undeniably clear. Yet how many understand that?
Please try to comprehend this: The phrase “the Word was with God” does not refer to place or space; it means He was with Him spiritually. He was with Him in unity. He was in submission to God for all eternity. He set the example for all people of how to submit to the one now called the Father!
We understand that there are two Beings but one absolute Godhead. Two Beings, with one in submission to the other. It has worked this way for all eternity. God then wanted to expand this way of life to include other spirit beings.
So God created the angels and gave them an opportunity to do an amazingly wonderful work. But one third of the angels rebelled. Lucifer and these angels declared war against their Creator (Isaiah 14:12‑14; Revelation 12:3-4). Such a thing had never happened before!
Satan really believed he could make a way other than God’s way work successfully—that somehow he could rebel against God and make his way of competition work. Look at the results described in Genesis 1:2: “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep”—destruction! The other two thirds of the angels witnessed that destruction and saw by the fruits of Lucifer’s rebellion that his way didn’t work.
We also must learn these lessons! Compare that with what is happening in God’s Church today. Many have become Laodicean, or lukewarm, and it won’t work. They ought to know that. They were taught that it wouldn’t work, but most of them don’t believe that. The evidence is all around them—they can’t do the Work of God, because they’re in a state of rebellion.
Despite the angelic rebellion, God still wanted to expand His beautiful way of life. God saw that the angels were not capable of ruling this Earth and the universe. The only way to achieve that goal was for God to re-create Himself in man. After Lucifer became God’s adversary, God came in human form and spoke to John and the other disciples about the Father and the Son. It was not just God and the Word anymore, although they still fulfill these roles too. The Son is still the Spokesman. It is, however, a Father-Son relationship now—a family relationship!
Why the change? Why would God want us thinking of Him in family terms? Not just as God, but as Father and Son? The reason, as you will see throughout this book, is profound: It is because He is now opening up His Family to human beings!
This is very deep, and you are going to have to really concentrate to comprehend this incredible truth!
The angels were never given the opportunity to be members of the God Family. As it says in Hebrews 1, God never called the angels His sons. But when referring to man, He uses terms such as Father, Son, family, children, sons of God, Bride of Christ. This is something dramatically new and wonderful!
Think about this opportunity! God and the Word became Father and Son—and the Family of God is now opened up to all humanity! That is impossible to imagine without God’s help! It is too awesome, too wonderful, to understand unless God helps you.
John used the Word four times in his writings: John 1:1, 14; 1 John 1:1; Revelation 19:13. Let’s look at the three remaining verses.
The Logos Made Flesh
John understood what a marvelous thing had occurred with Christ’s life; He was in awe. John 1:14 states, “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.” The Word was the only God who ever came to Earth, was begotten by God in a woman and born as a human child. There was a time in the Godhead when the Word was gone—He left to become a single cell within a woman, later a fetus and then a child!
God—the one who became the Father—created us through the Word (Ephesians 3:9; John 1:3). One of these immortal beings gave up all this power! Why? Out of love for a family—even if it meant risking everything.
This is why John was in such awe. You can’t fathom this concept unless you do a lot of praying! If you don’t understand this vision, you will be in spiritual trouble. That’s why there is a Laodicean Church today. Revelation 3:20 shows that members of God’s own Church in the end-time age have lost this vision—the Family vision. They don’t remember the Word, nor do they remember what He did for them and how much God loves them.
Vesture Dipped in Blood
Notice Revelation 19:13. “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.” The Word came down to Earth and dwelt among men, and men killed Him.
Of course, He planned it that way. He is the Creator of all mankind, and since the Creator’s life is worth more than all His creation, His death could pay the penalty for the sins of all humanity upon their repentance. That is what it took to get one or a million or a hundred billion people into God’s Family! There wasn’t any other way. There is a law, and God had to die—not a man, not a goat, not a bull, as it says in Hebrews 10:1‑4—but God.
Realize that this was all done to make it possible for you to be a member of God’s Family! You will never understand this unless you are on your knees, frequently praying about it, studying deeply into this incredible truth—that a God had to die to make it all possible!
This great Word always submitted to God—for all eternity. That is an incredible truth. Even more remarkable, however, is the fact that this eternally perfect, resplendent Being died for you.
But the awesome depth of this Logos vision doesn’t end with His sacrifice. Notice Revelation 19:7: “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.” Those called into God’s Church before Christ’s Second Coming not only have all these other blessings, but they have the honor and the opportunity to be the Bride of the Word! That God came and died, His vesture was dipped in blood, and He is going to marry those with the courage and vision to see what He is doing today.
This Word, or Christ—the one whose vesture was dipped in blood—is the link between the Father and man! Without Him, we would have no access to the Father, no forgiveness for our sins, and no potential to one day be resurrected, as Christ was, into God’s Family as eternal God beings. But because of Him, and because of His unfathomable love for us, His creation, all that is possible. That is a special kind of love that John is trying to get us to understand.
From the Beginning
The other place John mentions the Word is in 1 John 1:1. “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.” The early New Testament Church had seen Him, talked to Him. They had hugged Him, patted Him on the back.
John is driving home the point that the man they knew as Christ was the Word—the Logos—who was with God from the beginning! He’s taking them back to the eternal history of the Spokesman. John wondered how these people in the first era of God’s Church could turn away from this great Word, when He had just been with them so recently! Most of those people fell away because they refused to understand. How tragic!
John was writing this letter in the midst of a horrible time. He was most likely on the Isle of Patmos, where he had been exiled. While he was imprisoned there, some ministers had rebelled against what they had been taught. They began to do some crazy things when John was not around, because they had lost this transcendent vision. Those in God’s Church today have experienced some strikingly similar problems. John lived in times that were a type of these latter days. That is why his writings are so important for us to understand deeply.
Notice verse 2: “For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us.” John was asking them, Do you realize this Word we knew was with the Father and came down here to this Earth? It was that great Being who became a mere man and had His vesture dipped in blood. That was the Word! That was God in the flesh. Can you grasp this?
The link between the Father and you is this Word. We are all sinners (Romans 3:23; 5:12), and thus all need His blood to cover our horrible sins. What an act of love on His part! How can you even describe the love God has for man? What a plan!
“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3). They saw Him; they heard Him. That is what John was declaring. And it was frustrating beyond words to John that so many of them didn’t get it.
“Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning” (1 John 2:7). John kept using the phrase from the beginning when writing the first-century Church—trying to get them to see what they were a part of.
God promised He would send Elijah to restore all things (Matthew 17:10-11). John the Baptist fulfilled that role in type (verses 12-13), but there was also an end-time fulfillment in the Philadelphia era of the New Testament Church of God (Revelation 3:7-8). When John used the phrase “from the beginning,” he was talking about the Logos. In the same sense, we should be going back to the end-time Elijah—who taught us about the Logos! Nobody talked about the Logos as Mr. Armstrong did! Because of him, God’s people heard all about the Logos from the beginning of the Philadelphia era.
“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” (1 John 2:13). This was what was breaking John’s heart. They knew the Word who became a man. They knew this from the beginning—the transformed Word whom they had touched, spoken to and loved. But then they began to get away from His message. They were losing the great vision of the Logos!
Verse 24: “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.”
This is also prophecy for this end time. Whatever we have heard from the beginning of our calling and conversion must be in us. We are being held accountable for it, because we heard it from the beginning, from the end-time Elijah who restored all things.
2 John 5 states, “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.” They were losing what they had from the beginning. It is very easy—and common—to not stay faithful to God and His truth. History demonstrates that fact. So do many prophecies about God’s people in this end time.
Verse 6: “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.” John was repeatedly pointing them back to the Logos. He told them of his experiences with the Logos. He was pleading emotionally, because he had spent so much time with this eternal God who came in the flesh. (For more information, request our free booklet The Last Hour.)
Notice what John recorded in his third epistle, while he was probably still on Patmos: “I wrote unto the church [he couldn’t go there]: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church” (3 John 9-10).
What else but prison could keep John from personally dealing with such a serious Church crisis?
Has anything like this happened in this end time? Yes, indeed! There is an end-time Diotrephes casting people out of God’s Church. Most of God’s people in this end time are turning away from God, because they have blindly followed the wrong leaders. We must learn to follow the Logos—not any man.
Paul, who worked with John (see Acts 15), had a similar problem. In Colossians 2, he wrote to the Colossians and the Laodiceans during the Ephesus era. The Laodiceans, not the Colossians, were turning away, just like in this end time. The Laodicean rebellion in the first century is a type of the last-century rebellion. Laodiceanism is the same sickness in any age. That makes those books which discuss this (Colossians; 1, 2 and 3 John) prophetic!
The Ephesus era turned away (Revelation 2:1-7) and lost their first love, and some of them became Laodicean. Every era has its major sin but is also guilty of some of the sins of all seven eras. John had his Laodiceans too. They turned away from him—and from God and the Logos. They turned away from the God who came in the flesh, dipped His vesture in blood for them and offered them a position as His Bride! They turned to things, pleasures, entertainment and lusts of this world. They preferred that, rather than what the Logos offered them! What a hideous, shameful sin!
Some periods in the Church of God are not very positive—the first and last centuries, in particular.
Most of God’s people have turned away in this end time. Our job is the same as John’s: “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you …” (1 John 1:3). If we understand this profound truth about the Word, then God says we’d better declare it, or their blood will be on our heads! (Ezekiel 33).
“And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full” (1 John 1:4). The name John means “God is merciful.” God is a merciful God. He is not cruel, as many in the world see Him. He wants us to have full joy—to be truly happy. We will be, if we understand this. That is a guarantee from God.
Creating a Family
When a husband and wife start a family, it just about knocks them over emotionally. All of a sudden they see a little child come out of the mother, and there is life! A human life that wasn’t there before!
Yet some parents, having lost the natural affection that God designed into parents, will desert their own children—their own flesh and blood! Jesus Christ does just the opposite. He came and died for God’s sons. That’s how far He will go to save children. How many human beings are like that? That is a love we don’t understand, except as God reveals it to us. Our job is to follow the Word’s example (1 Peter 2:21).
The Word represents a great vision. He speaks for the Father. The Word has an impressive record of never, ever rebelling against the Father. That’s the only way He could die for you. One sin while He was on this Earth, and it would have been over for Him and us forever! It never would have been possible had He not been so perfectly obedient to God the Father. That is the perfect example that we must strive to follow.
Remember Genesis 1:26. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness ….” We look like God, not like animals. God created the animals after the animal kind. Man is after the God kind. We look like God in our features, and we’re also going to be like Him in His image—His character. He wants us to have His character. That’s the kind of son He wants.
When a child comes out of the mother’s womb, he looks like his mom and dad, because they helped to create him, through God’s blessing. In the same manner, we are created by the Word and therefore look like our Creator, even though we don’t yet match Him in our character.
Added to all these other fantastic blessings, we get to marry Him—if we can rise to the Bride level of character. What a breathtaking honor!
The Logos, a member of the Godhead, spilled His blood for us. Now He is offering the firstfruits His hand in marriage! The more I think about this, the more I am inspired to want to think even more about it. You can meditate on this for the rest of your life and still get more depth out of it! This is truly the mind of God that John was trying so hard to get the people to understand.
I hope you will think and pray about this subject a lot more. If you do, you will find it brings great inspiration into your life. I guarantee it!
The Word’s Glory
Notice Christ’s prayer the night before He was crucified: “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” (John 17:5). What glory they had! The Word was with God, and they weren’t fighting—they were getting along, and it worked perfectly for all eternity. Only God’s love can produce that unity and glory. What a wonderful lesson and example for all humanity. Christ wants us to have that same glory.
Again, John was the only writer who canonized this prayer in the Gospel messages. Isn’t that interesting? Perhaps he just knew more about it or heard more of it; maybe Christ expounded on it more to him personally. I suspect it had something to do with John’s depth of understanding. He was not the one in charge—Peter was over all of the apostles—but he must have studied so hard and so deeply into this that he had been given a profound understanding by God.
Whereas the other gospels basically started with the birth of Christ, John went back long before that—when there was just God and the Word. Why, I ask again, did God inspire John to begin there? Most certainly because God wants us to think about and understand eternity, and have eternal goals! Nothing will change your life more than having this understanding and this vision in your mind! It will cause you to stand up and face any difficulty, any trial, if you understand this from God’s perspective. How much do we think like God? Philippians 2:5 states, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus”—the same mind!
Genesis 1:1 refers to the physical creation. But John 1:1 is about the spiritual creation. What is happening in the lives of the very elect today is a spiritual creation. God is re-creating Himself. It is happening right now! Christ is getting His Bride ready.
Made Through Him
“All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3). God made the universe, and He keeps it going. If you were to make a car or a train, something would have to sustain it to keep it moving. Likewise, God is the Sustainer of life and of the universe.
The phrase “all things were made by him” is an inaccurate translation. Lange’s Commentary translates by as through, as do several other translations. That changes everything; it puts everything in perspective. “All things were made through him.” That means somebody was on the other side. Christ is the link to the Father, who is doing this work through Him.
The Greek word for by or through is dia, which is where we get the first part of the word diameter—meaning “through.” The Companion Bible reads, “Dia governs two cases …. 1) With the genitive it has the general sense of through, as through dividing a surface into two by an intersecting line. … [I]t denotes the passing through whatever is interposed between the beginning and the end of such action.” There is a being on the other end—the Father.
Lange’s has considerable insight about this: “The Son never works of Himself, but always as the Revealer of the Father and the Executor of His will” (emphasis mine throughout). That is a profound understanding—and is exactly what the Bible says. That isn’t the message coming from most religious people today, however. Even this scholar could see that most of the translators were wrong about this verse.
Ephesians 3:9 also shows how God created the universe through Jesus Christ, the Word. It was all done by the Father through the Son, because—I repeat—the Son is in submission. He has never been anything but submissive to His Father. He is our example. Our Husband wants His wife to act like He does. What a calling—what a responsibility!
The Light of Men
“In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). Psalm 36:9 states, “For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.” If you stay in God’s light, you will see the light, and others will see the light in you. We can only have that light if we stay in the fountain of life.
The Word is this light. “And the light shineth [present tense] in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not” (John 1:5). The light shines when someone does the Work of God. Through God’s end-time apostle Herbert W. Armstrong, the light really did shine. Through the Philadelphia Church of God it keeps shining today. It still shines if we’re doing our part.
Just as it takes energy and power to make an electrical light shine, it takes spiritual energy, the power of God and real effort, to make this spiritual light shine in your life! We also know that we are called to be a light to the world.
Lucifer, who was the light bringer to this world, turned to darkness. He then used all his powers and energies to bring this world into darkness. His dark influences have prevailed throughout human history. Christ—the light—came right into the midst of it. “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” Comprehend can be translated overtake, as in John 12:35: “lest darkness come upon you [or overtake you].” The darkness didn’t overtake Christ’s light. If the light is shining in darkness—if we are doing God’s Work and getting His light to the world—the darkness can’t overtake us.
Getting Mystery of the Ages to the largest audience possible is one major way we can let our light shine—or, if necessary, fighting in court to be able to do that. If you pour your heart into that, then darkness will not—cannot—overtake you! But if you are not letting your light shine by doing this work, then the light is overtaken by the darkness.
Jesus Christ said, “My meat [or delight] is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work” (John 4:34). That was how He let His light shine. That was His delight—to do what the Father wanted done. That is what made Him great. He supported His Father and set an example for His Bride and for the world.
John 1:5 states that the light “shineth”—present tense. Lange’s comments about this word: “Present: denoting continuous activity from the beginning till now.” Daniel called God’s Work the daily, or continual. That is exactly what John 1:5 means. We must continue to let the light shine!
Where did this light come from? It came from God, through the Logos. How was the fire, or the light, started for the Old Testament sacrifices, which are really a type of the spiritual continual today? Leviticus 9 gives the answer: “And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people. And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces” (verses 23-24). How impressive! This fire came from heaven like a bolt of lightning and consumed the sacrifice!
How, then, did today’s spiritual fire start? It was started by the Logos—by God. That’s what John was telling the people. Jesus Christ, the Logos, said He would build His Church (Matthew 16:18). He started the Church fire (after the Father called or begot His sons—John 6:44). He said the gates of hell, or the grave, would not prevail against it! He was the same Being, the Logos, who started the fire in Leviticus!
In the end time He sent an Elijah to restore all things. He started a great spiritual fire by restoring all things through that man. The great tragedy is, most of God’s people don’t believe the Elijah has come yet!
We have access to all things—all the doctrines of God. Where did they come from? After writing Mystery of the Ages, Mr. Armstrong said he didn’t feel he wrote that book, but that he was like a scribe as God poured the thoughts into his mind. Where did those thoughts come from? They came from God, through the Logos! He was the origin of that book. He was the origin of those restored truths.
A Witness of the Light
“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe” (John 1:6‑7). John the Baptist’s purpose was to be a witness.
God’s people today serve the same purpose. Every man on Earth will have to receive the message of the Logos.
Remember, John means “God is merciful.” It was God who gave John the Baptist his name (Luke 1:13). When we sin, how merciful God is to cover those mistakes with Christ’s blood and forgive us. He wants us to get up and move on—to go forward, putting the sin behind us and becoming a better witness to the light!
That witness can be more powerful than preaching, because it is people letting Christ live in them, and thereby letting the light shine! That is the kind of witness John was—“that all men through him might believe.” Although some don’t want to believe yet, in time our witness will have more of an effect on people. That is the strongest message of all.
The word witness is grossly misunderstood in religion today. What it truly means is to have the Logos live within you—to have the mind of Jesus Christ, the Word, in you so this light shines! Christ is trying to get this light into us—this Word into us—so we will all be a witness, and we’ll all live like the Logos! That is what we must do—live as Christ did when He was on Earth. He was perfect. He was following His Father’s example. He said, “[H]e that hath seen me hath seen the Father …” (John 14:9). He was a doer of the Ten Commandments and the written Word of God, the Bible. He didn’t just parrot empty, syrupy words about loving God.
If you have a mate who doesn’t believe as you do, your example can be a wonderful light and have a dramatic impact on that person’s life. The Bible says it might even change them and bring them into God’s Family (1 Corinthians 7:16; 1 Peter 3:1-2). That’s how powerful this example—this light—can be!
“He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:8-9). Every single person who has ever lived will sooner or later have to be lighted by this Light, or he has no future; he will go into darkness forever. There is no other hope, no other way to live, no other light. There is only one light. There will not be any other for all eternity.
“He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not” (verse 10). Christ created men, and men killed their Creator. “He came unto his own [the Jews], and his own received him not” (verse 11). Even the Jews, who should have recognized Him by the prophecies He fulfilled, rejected Him.
Still, for a very great purpose, Christ endured the chastening of deceived men. “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: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (verses 12-13). It was all for the purpose of bringing human beings, upon repentance and conversion, into God’s own Family!
It says in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son ….” You’ve heard that so many times. God the Father loves this world, and He loves you. He loves all of us—and He has proved it by giving His only begotten Son, who was also God. Through our sins, we slaughtered Him. Something is tragically wrong with human beings. If we recognize that this includes ourselves, and bitterly repent before God, He will help us correct the problem. He will rear us, in love, as His own children.
“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). He had to be full of grace and truth or He wouldn’t have allowed man to beat Him until He didn’t even look like a man before crucifying Him, so that we might be healed by His stripes (1 Peter 2:24; Isaiah 53:5).
Does God love the world? Do we need any more evidence? Now it is time for us to love God and the Word—the Father and Son—and enter into their Family.
“John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace” (John 1:15-16). We all have access to grace on top of grace, love on top of love! Because of what Christ did, we can have that grace—and truth (verse 17).
Declaring the Father
Now John 1:18: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” What a wonderful, wonderful verse. The Word revealed the Father! He was the only one qualified to do that, for He was in the Father’s bosom—the closest, most intimate relationship they could have. The Son came to this Earth, showing the eternal love He and His Father shared for all eternity.
Christ didn’t declare Himself, as so many believe; He declared the Father—thus declaring that beautiful Family vision that mankind can be a part of!
This is Plan B, and it’s far superior to Plan A. But always remember the incredible risk involved in this plan! What brutal suffering the Son had to endure. On the night of that crucifixion, He cried out to His Father and asked Him to take this cup away because He was in such agony—sweating blood before He spilled His blood (Luke 22:42-44; Hebrews 12:3‑4). Yet He said, “[N]evertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). What a Son! What a wonderfully inspiring message; and we have to get this so deeply—that it will be with us forever—because it is going to change the whole world! Then soon after that, it will change the whole universe!
This is the message of John 1:18. Christ, the Son, is in the bosom of the Father! It doesn’t say He was in the bosom of the Father again, which was what it would say if He had been in the bosom of the Father before as the Word. Why? Because now there is an expanded, family vision! Billions of human beings can now be brought into the God Family. Jesus Christ has totally embraced the family relationship. He is not going off on His own, doing His own thing. He has already proved Himself for all eternity that He’ll be loyal to God.
The more you study this, the harder it will be for you to remain in your seat!
Why would men destroy this vision? Because they don’t understand it. They don’t know what they are doing. This is the Family vision; this is what the Bible is all about. It is about bringing mankind into God’s Family!
Nobody knew the Father, verse 18 says, until the Word came in the flesh and revealed the Father. What a revelation that is! He came to declare—or reveal—the Father. So many want to put Christ in the spotlight. Who even knows about the Father? That just shows that the world doesn’t really know Christ, the Word who came to declare the Father. What a Son—and what a Father! What a Family!
God wants us in His Family. He came to this Earth to open up the Family of God to man—to invite man into His Family. This was radically different from anything He ever did with the angels—but this was now the ultimate and supreme plan of God—a plan that not even God could exceed in greatness. The plan of re-creating Himself!
Who could write such an astounding truth? It would have to be someone like John, who really got to know the Logos, while He was on Earth in a way that most of the other disciples didn’t quite understand nor measure up to.
There probably is not, in all the Bible, a more meaningful verse than John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”