In the beginning was the Word – Part 1

Posted: June 19, 2014 in Deity of Jesus Christ
Tags: , , , ,

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The opening of Apostle John’s gospel account of Jesus’ deity is a profound verse that confronts the reader immediately with the testimony that the historical Jesus of Nazareth was there “In the beginning… with God,” and then with incredible simplicity and clarity of speech affirms His deity absolutely, proclaiming “the Word was God.”

“How?” people often ask, “Can Jesus be with God and be God?” Good question, but just because something is a mystery doesn’t negate its reality, the mystery only attests to a lack understanding. Now the Jehovah Witnesses solved this problem simply by reinterpreting the verse to agree with their own theological misunderstanding of Jesus’ true identity –

“In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.”

That’s their erroneous solution, admit “the Word” was “with God” and then just state that “the Word” was just another (little “g”) god. They explain this with verse 2 being translated to say “This one was in the beginning with God.” Their answer is simply that there were two gods at the beginning, the Almighty God Jehovah and then the lesser created “mighty god” Jesus. However, if Jesus was created, then His beginning would have to be separate from “the beginning,” which doesn’t really set well with their interpretation of the following verse –

All things came into existence through him and apart from him not even one thing came into existence.”

Are there two beginnings? Would not a created lesser god with such a beginning be part of “all things” that “came into existence?”

Now, before I quickly lose some readers because they think I am writing this article about Jehovah Witnesses, I’m not. This article is about John 1:1 and how through it the Holy Spirit reveals volumes of truth about “the gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began.” Therefore I hope many of you will continue to read this in its entirety.

My mentioning the Jehovah Witnesses’ erroneous explanation is simply to reveal how far they and so many others are removed from the truth when it comes to Jesus as being not only both Lord and Christ, but very God as well. For the Apostle Luke, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, testifies in his Gospel account that Jesus is not only Christ the Lord, but is also in fullness of truth the Lord’s Christ, the only “ONE LORD, ONE GOD” of scripture as taught and repeatedly affirmed by the Apostle Paul.

Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

Ephesians 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,  6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.  7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

However, before I specifically focus on John 1:1, I’m still compelled to briefly touch on a few other verses regarding Jesus deity and so encourage your patience a bit longer. Unless we understand the error so many like the Jehovah Witnesses make, we might leave the same avenue for deception in our own reasoning.  Like so many, they assert the distinction is undeniably true concerning Jehovah as being the Almighty God and Jesus being a lesser created “mighty god” by pointing to this verse in Isaiah –

9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Because Jehovah Witnesses cannot escape the fact Isaiah refers to Jesus as “the Mighty God,” they simply choose to dismiss it, rejecting any confirmation from the verse of Jesus being 100% God, solely on the grounds that Isaiah didn’t call Him “the Almighty God.” However, below are several scriptures where Jehovah (though translated “LORD” by several translators) is clearly referred to as “the mighty God.”

Deuteronomy 7:21 You shalt not be affrighted at them: for the LORD your God is among you, a mighty God and terrible.

Psalm 50:1 The mighty God, even the LORD, has spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.

Psalm 132:2 How he swore unto the LORD, and vowed unto the mighty God of Jacob;

Psalm 132:5 Until I find out a place for the LORD, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.

Isaiah 10:21 The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God.

Jeremiah 32:18 You show lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompenses the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is His name,

Habakkuk 1:12 Are not You from everlasting, O LORD my God, mine Holy One? We shall not die. O LORD, You have ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, You have established them for correction.

On this particular subject, these verses provide good evidence why we shouldn’t take any verses and be interpreting them privately; meaning isolated and apart from other verses. Perhaps, even more difficult for the Jehovah Witnesses regarding this subject is Zechariah’s prophecy to Israel. Let’s look as how the Holy Spirit led him in this particular passage –

12:1 “The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel,” says the LORD, “Which stretches forth the heavens, and lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him.”

Clearly this is Jehovah, the LORD speaking in the first person directly to Israel. Even the Jehovah Witnesses own New World Translation confirms this as accurately in this particular verse –

12:1 “The word of Jehovah concerning Israel,” is the utterance of Jehovah, the One who is stretching out [the] heavens and laying the foundation of [the] earth and forming the spirit of man inside him. 

In continuing to read Jehovah’s “burden of the word of the LORD for Israel,” we get down to verse 10 where, still speaking in the first person, Jehovah states, “and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced.” That means it would be perfectly appropriate to interpret this verse “and they shall look upon Jehovah, whom they have pierced.”

However, the Jehovah Witnesses once again evade the truth by again interpreting the text as “and they will certainly look to the One whom they pierced.” Please note that theirs is an interpretation and not a translation, for there is no Hebrew word there for them to translate as “one.” Their dishonesty is further exposed when we see this same passage prophetically referenced in the Gospel of John once again being misinterpreted in their “translation”–

19:37 “And again, a different scripture says: ‘They will look to the one whom they pierced.'”

Even Google non-bias basic word for word translation software interprets Zechariah 12:10 with “looked at me” instead of “look to the one.”

“…the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplication, and looked at me, that which – stabbed…”

But when we compare Zechariah and John’s verses in other translations, we readily see the corruption in the Jehovah Witnesses’ interpretation.

King James Version-

Zec 12:10 …and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced,

John 19:37 …They shall look on him whom they pierced.

New King James Version-

Zec 12:10 …then they will look on Me whom they pierced.

John 19:37 “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.”

Modern King James Version-

Zec 12:10 And they shall look on Me whom they have pierced.

John 19: “They shall look upon [Him] whom they pierced.”

Revised Standard Version-

Zec 12:10 … when they look on him whom they have pierced,

John 19: “They shall look on him whom they have pierced.”

American Standard Version-

Zec 12:10 …and they shall look unto me whom they have pierced;

John 19:37  They shall look on him whom they pierced.

Darby Translation-

Zec 12:10 …and they shall look on me whom they pierced,

John 19:37  They shall look on him whom they pierced.

Young’s Literal Translation-

Zec 12:10  …And they have looked unto Me whom they pierced,

John 19:37 `They shall look to him whom they did pierce.’

World English Bible-

Zec 12:10 …and they will look to me whom they have pierced;

John 19:37 “They shall look on Him whom they have pierced.”

New International Version

Zec 12:10 They will look on me, the one they have pierced, 

John 19:37 …and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.

The fact that Jehovah Witnesses choose to make Jesus into another “god” is surprising when you examine the primary passages that Jehovah Witnesses point to as the authority of their great commission to go door to door. These verses leave them absolutely no theological room for their persistent assertion that Jesus, “the Word that was with God,” was merely another “god.” Let’s look at the first of these verses in their Jehovah Witnesses New World Translation-

Isaiah 43:10 “YOU are my witnesses,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “even my servant whom I have chosen, in order that YOU may know and have faith in me, and that YOU may understand that I am the same One. Before me there was no God formed, and after me there continued to be none.”

Here it is unmistakable that Jehovah plainly declares that He is “the same One. Before me there was no God formed, and after me there continued to be none.” There are not two gods, Jehovah the Almighty God and Jesus the lesser mighty god. No, the great mystery hid from the foundations of the world is how they are in reality “the same One.” This truth slipped through the New World Translation again in their interpretation of John’s Gospel –

John 8:23 So he went on to say to them: “You are from the realms below; I am from the realms above. You are from this world; I am not from this world. 24 Therefore I said to you, you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I am [he], you will die in your sins.

Jesus said, “For if you believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sins.” So I ask, “He who?” We need not guess, for Jesus plainly tells us in just a few verses further down –

John 8:28 Then said Jesus unto them, When you have lifted up the Son of man, then shall you know that I am He, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

Our Lord Jesus Christ told them that when they “have lifted up the Son of man, then” they who know the sure word of prophecy given by Zechariah would understand what Jesus meant when he said  “I am he.” Because His crucifixion would be the fulfillment of the very event being prophesied by Zechariah, “…they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced.”  THIS is what God spoke through Isaiah –

43:10 You are My witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He: before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me. 11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside Me there is no savior. 12 I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore you are My witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God. 13 Yea, before the day was I am He; and there is none that can deliver out of My hand: I will work, and who shall let it? …15 I am the LORD, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.

Notice what Jehovah, the LORD God, is saying here, “Before the day was I am He.” This again stands in perfect harmony with John account of “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” So what does this all mean? And what beginning is the Holy Spirit referencing here? And how is it that the Word can be both “with” God and yet be God? That, my friends, is the focus of my next article I am in the middle of and hope to have up soon.

Live for the Resurrected King!

 

Comments
  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi William. Doesn’t get much clearer than that. It just shows me once again how powerful the enemy is, so easy to understand if only we or they will read it for ourselves and stop relying on what we hear or what others say or think they understand.Grace and peace to you

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