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|October, 2015 (5776)||Vol. 41 No. 10|
THOUGHTS FROM THE BOOK OF JOHN
MRS. ARI D. HIDALGO
CHAPTER 1:1-5, By way of introduction to The Book of John lets begin with the author whose name is John, who is the son of Zebedee. He was the brother of James and was one of the 12 Apostles, and was the disciple that it is said of that Jesus loved. John was one of those who were near to Jesus, such as, the event of His Transfiguration and also the event during His Agony in The Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus while on the cross commended to John His mother. Also, John is referred to as one of the 3 pillars of the Church by Saul-Paul in the first part of The Book of Acts. John's other writings bear his name, that is, 1st, 2nd and 3rd John, also he wrote The Book of Revelation. All of his writings were by the inspiration of God. They were God breathed. John lived the longest of all the 12 Apostles and it is believed that he died a natural death, while the other disciples suffered martyrdom.
The Book of John is known as the fourth Gospel account and the purpose of this book was to declare The Word, which is found in the 20th chapter of John verse 31, that there is life in Jesus...."that ye might believe that Jesus is The Christ (Anointed - Messiah), The Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His Name". By believing in Y'shua you are not believing in another God. For, The Word of God proves to us that Jesus and God are One. (John 10: 30). The first chapter of John reveals this to us by the way it begins and ends in verse 14. The Word, The Eternal Word Incarnate, is The Son of God.
There are 'Three Points' that I'd like to share that will connect The Word of God with Y'shua Jesus as being with God and is God from the beginning when He made the worlds.
First, we will look into HIS DEITY, second, HIS DESCRIPTION, and third HIS DESTINY.
HIS DEITY: The Lord God tells us of His deity in verses 1-2. Also, in The Book of Hebrews chapter 1 verse 2 we read about His deity. God has a Son and by His Son, who is Y'shua (Jesus), The Anointed One (The Messiah), He (God) has ..."in these last days spoken unto us by his son". Therefore, there is no other way that God has spoken, but by His Son who is the fulfillment of His Word.
We have just read that The Word that was in the beginning was with God and was God. The Son of God, Y'shua (Jesus our Lord) is referred to as the Word of God. By the way, He is also called "Faithful and True". He, Jesus our Lord is the faithful and true witness of the mind of God. The Scripture goes on to say that His Son is ..." whom he hath appointed heir of all things by whom also he made the worlds", thus, placing His Son in the beginning with Him. This statement alone tells us that Jesus is Gods Son and that God and His Son were together in the beginning, and God and His beloved Son made the worlds. So we can see The Word that was with God is His Son Y'shua Who is very much God.
We also can confirm this statement that The Word, God and His Son Y'shua are One by His description as follows.
HIS DESCRIPTION: We continue reading the description of God's Son in verse 3 of The Book of Hebrews chapter 1, ..."Who (the Son of God) being the brightness of his (God's) glory, and the express image of his (God's) person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he (Y'shua) had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high". By this DESCRIPTION we have the unity of the Godhead.
Another beautiful Scripture that connects Y'shua (Jesus) with The Word of God is found in The Book of Revelation chapter 19 verses 11-16. John saw The Son of God, Christ Jesus coming in glory and His Name was THE WORD OF GOD. This Scripture shows forth The Eternal Word incarnate in the Son of God who is Jesus.
HIS DEITY AND HIS DESCRIPTION that we have looked into points to The Son of God who is Yshua (Jesus) being THE WORD OF GOD that was with God and was (and is) God ... "The same was in the beginning with God". (chapter 1 of John verse 2). Jesus even said in John 10:30, that ... "I and my father are One". Y'shua (Jesus) also spoke of the glory that He had with God The Father before the world. In John 17:5 we read ... "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was".
If we invite an individual to come to Jesus we are not drawing that person away from God for He, Jesus, is the spoken Word of God that was with God and was God before His manifestation to this earth when He purged our sins. It is a mystery, that is, the hidden redemption for man in God. Only by faith can we accept that Y'shua (Jesus our Lord) is God in the flesh.
The third point is found in verses 3-5 in chapter 1 of John called His destiny.
HIS DESTINY: In verse 4 we read that ... "In Him (Jesus who is The Word of God) was life"; Jesus, Who is The Word of God has life in Himself. Thus, all of creation has their life in Him. They are made by Him and live by Him. He giveth life and He has the power to take life. No one has that power, but our LORD, Blessed be His Name. God giveth natural life through His Son and God gives Eternal life and that life is in and through His Son.
Matthew 4:4 we read ..." It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God". Remember, Jesus is the Word of God, and He who created all, also created Eternal Life for us through Him.
In verse 5, we read about the manifestation to man of God's existence as it is written ... And the light shineth in darkness; Though fallen man is found in darkness, God and His Word who is Jesus shineth in darkness, and that which may be known of God is manifested, as Romans 1:19 & 20, tells us.
Therefore, man is without excuse, because God's light did shine in darkness even before the manifesting of His Son Jesus. "In him (Jesus) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1:4,5) Amen. Please remember to read also Colossians 1:15-23.
Let us continue JOHN 1:6-8, with the introductory thought... 'A MAN' ... SENT FROM GOD. His name is John The Baptist (The Baptizer), not The Apostle John who wrote The Gospel according to John.
In The Brit Ha-Dashah (The New Testament) we have John The Baptist beginnings through his parents Zacharias and Elizabeth. Both of his parents were from the Tribe of Levi, and it is said that both parents were righteous before God. We read in God's Word that the parents of John both WALKED in ALL the Commandments and Ordinances of The Lord blameless. Wouldn't it have been wonderful to have had parents that constantly walked with God? Zacharias and Elizabeth trusted in God and obeyed His Word. They were well stricken in age without children as the Scripture indicates. They apparently had prayerfully desired before The Lord a family, hopefully, beginning with a son.
Well, the Angel of the Lord appeared unto Zacharias while he was in the Temple serving God (burning incense). And as a human being FEAR came upon Zacharias. He did not know what was happening. When we are in the dark of what is happening, fear does take hold upon us just like it did in Zacharias's life as a priest. He experienced fear not because he had done something wrong, no, not at all. It is just like our precious Lord to bring comfort in the time of need. And that is exactly what took place. Comfort came from The Angel of The Lord when he said to him, ...FEAR NOT, Zacharias: FOR THY PRAYER IS HEARD... (Luke 1:13).
Now, God does not send forth comfort to us in the form of an angel with a voice, no, today Spiritually it is through His Spirit, and His Word. When this happens, it is like you have reached the stars or you find yourself on cloud nine in a human perspective.
To know and experience that your prayers are being heard by the most Holy God and following it, the one thing that you have been asking for comes to pass, well, it is heavenly bliss.
Zacharias and Elizabeth had been asking The Lord for a child, and the Angel of The Lord appeared to Zacharias and said your prayers are answered, that is, your wife Elizabeth shall bear a son. Not only did the Angel of the Lord bring this wonderful news, but he even told Zacharias what to name his son: ... "and thou shall call his name John". (Luke 1:13).
Also, what MANNER of life their son, John would live was FORETOLD to Zacharias. Their son would be a son that every parent dreams of having, and that is, that he would bring JOY AND GLADNESS to them, and that he would be GREAT in the sight of The Lord. Of course this meant that his life would truly be separated, in other words, he couldn't party with his brethren, for he was not to drink wine nor strong drink and he would be different, for he would be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mothers womb.
All of this would transpire in the process of time, because God had chosen their son to be THE MAN that God would call with a MISSION from above to accomplish His purposes.
The MISSION was to bare witness of THE LIGHT WHO IS THE SON OF GOD, Y'SHUA (JESUS) THE MESSIAH. The Scripture says that ... "And MANY of the children of Israel shall he, (JOHN), turn to The Lord their God". (Luke 1:16).
As recorded in Scripture The Angel of the Lord said that JOHN THE BAPTIST would go before The Lord in the Spirit of Elijah with a MESSAGE to deliver to those in Israel who looked for THE MESSIAH, (Who is that LIGHT that was spoken of in prophecy that would come to enlighten the Gentiles and would be THE GLORY of His people Israel).
A MAN, with A MISSION and A MESSAGE from GOD, and that is none other than John The Baptist.
The MESSAGE that he was sent to deliver was a message that would make the people aware of their sins, and the need to repent from their sins. Now, we must remember, that there had been 400 years of silence from God that Israel had experienced. But God had promised that there would be A MAN, (John the Baptist) who would come and break the silence with a MESSAGE pointing towards Israel (the Jewish people), that THEIR MESSIAH had come.
We are getting a little ahead of ourselves, but please look at verse 29 of chapter 1 when John The Baptist said ... "Behold the LAMB of GOD which taketh away the sin of the world". John could not take away Israel's sin, only to announce to them that they needed to repent and that their sin bearer was at hand. Just like you and I today, we have the same message that must be given to the world beginning at Jerusalem. We cannot take away their sins, but we can surely lead them to Y'shua (Jesus) who can.
John the Baptist is the fulfillment of prophecy that Isaiah spoke about in Isaiah 40:3 ... "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God".
Also, we have the prophecy in The Book of Malachi chapter 1 and verse 1 which is fulfilled in John The Baptist, that says, ... "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me": The Lord would send His messenger to prepare the way for Him (INDICATING that The LORD Himself would come and also send a forerunner in the Spirit of Elijah to announce His coming). The Lord sent John, and he did come. He was A MAN, with A MISSION and A MESSAGE from God to preach to the house of Israel. And, what he preached was this message ... "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand". (Matthew 3:2).
John did not usurp our Lord Jesus Christ, for John only came to bare witness, he was not THE LIGHT, but he knew who was (verse 8), and he came to share this WONDERFUL MESSAGE to Israel of THE TRUE LIGHT, THAT IS, THAT THE MESSIAH HAD COME AND THEY NEEDED TO TURN FROM THEIR SINS AND LOOK TO THE MESSIAH FOR THEIR SALVATION AND REDEMPTION.
In the beginning of The Book of John we looked into the unity of God. Through the Spirit of God we can understand that there is only ONE GOD and that He has manifested Himself in three distinct persons ... God The Father, God The Spirit, and God The Son, yet, ONE GOD. Let us look again at verse 1 ... "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God". And, as we continue by faith in God, His Spirit helps us to understand that The Word spoken of in verse 1 is God The Son as we compare Scripture with Scripture. As we go directly to verse 14 of this chapter it gives us the right interpretation that The Word is God and became flesh in the person of our Lord Jesus.
Let us read, ... "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". We can only see and understand this with Spiritual eyes that Y'shua (Jesus) is The Word and THE TRUE LIGHT that is mentioned in verse 9 of our text Who was and is God.
Let us look at THE TRUE LIGHT for our introductory thought which we find in verses 9 through 12.
John the Baptist was the forerunner to bare witness of Jesus being The Son of God, THE TRUE LIGHT Who is One with God, sent from God to bring Salvation to the World.
By faith we believe that Jesus is THE TRUE LIGHT that gives LIGHT.
In verse 9 we are reminded that He is THE LIGHT that lighteth: The Light came to ENLIGHTEN every man (in the world). Jesus said that ... "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life". (John 8:12).
How does Jesus Who is THE TRUE LIGHT ENLIGHTEN all people?
First of all: By His Creative Power, which alone proves that He has life within Himself. All of creation, the comforts of life and beauty that we behold and look upon every day comes from Him which is indeed a powerful witness. Therefore, His creative power speaks very strongly to mankind that there is a Higher Authority who enlightens all people. Jesus our Lord is The God of all Creation and we need to by faith trust in Him as The True light.
Secondly: By The Gospel Message being propagated throughout the World (to all nations) is how Yshua (Jesus) has ENLIGHTEN every man, that is, through Creation and The Word of God that speaks of The Gospel Message.
Just think of the many ways that the Word of God reaches every man (human being) today. It is through the World Wide Web,Television, Radio, Literature, and, by Word of Mouth.
JESUS IS THE TRUE LIGHT that gave LIGHT to the entire World.
THE TRUE LIGHT also gave LOVE to the world, which is our next point and it is to all people. We read in verse 10 that ... "He was in the world". Before His earthly manifestation of Himself, He was in the World through His Word (The Old Testament). He spoke to man because He cared for that which He had created. We understand that He came into the World by taking on human nature, remember verse 14 of John 1, The Word that was God became flesh.
Another Scripture that speaks about His incarnation is found in John 16:28 which says that THE TRUE LIGHT, Who is Y'shua, The Son of God dwelt among us ... "I (Jesus) came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.
By coming into the world He expressed His LOVE to a dark and sinful world, and the way that He did it was by means of giving His life on the cross for the sins of the world.
The True Light accomplished His first mission as the Scripture tells us in John 3:16 ... "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life".
The True Light, The Holy One from God Who was with God from the beginning made the world in perfection, but man sinned against God, thus, separation came. Out of God's love He came into the world to reconcile the world back unto Himself, to save a lost and dying world. But the reception was cold. For His love, He received hatred.
Even in infancy, as a baby, the leaders of the world which included some of His Chosen people Israel, were out to kill Him as the Scripture says ... He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not". (John 1:10). The Prophet Isaiah prophesied of this happening to Christ in chapter 53.
In John 1:11... "He came unto His own (world)". This verse is so often misinterpreted. Some religious people, and denominations interpret in their own teachings that this verse is meant for Israel only, and as such, they teach the following, ... "He came unto His own (people of Israel), and His own (people of Israel) received Him not. If this were the case, then, verse 12 would mean that only Israel could be saved.
Yes, He did come to Israel and as a representative Nation, they did not receive His testimony because they were looking for His Glory and His Kingdom, not as a Servant Who would Suffer and be crucified. But, also the world did not receive Him either, for it was the Roman government that crucified Him on a cross.
Again, remember John 3:16 ..."For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, to the world that He came to and that He loved. Not only the chosen people called Israel, is Salvation promised to, but also, for the Nations (Gentiles).
As we remember our introductory thought, THE TRUE LIGHT we see in verse 12 that The True Light Who is Jesus gives LIFE (eternal life). We understand that the LIFE is for THE MANY within THE REMNANT as being interpreted, from Jewish and Gentile people.
THE TRUE LIGHT, Who is Jesus, the Great Maker and Creator, and Redeemer of the whole world desires that no one would perish, but that all would respond to Him and be saved. But, throughout Scripture we know and understand that there is only THE MANY that will respond.
The mark of ONE that is among THE MANY that receive Him are true believers or born again Christians (John 3:7..."Ye must be born again"). Salvation is for the many who will receive and believe in His Name, His Name being Jesus, Who is called The Son of God, The Word of God, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and is called The Lord our Righteousness, Who is our Salvation, and we could go on and on.
THE TRUE LIGHT GIVES LIFE to any individual who will receive and believe on His Name. God gives them the power to become children of God, and by the way, that means becoming eternal children of God. Born Again is in verse 13 that .... Which were born, not of blood (inheritance), nor of the will of the flesh (involvement), nor of the will of man (intellect), BUT OF GOD.
Nothing that we can be, do, or say can save us. We are not born a Christian, but made one by God. God's grace does not run in our blood. It is the Grace of God through faith in Him (The True Light) that makes us willing to accept The Light and The Love and The Life that He gives to us through THE WORD OF GOD AND THE SPIRIT OF GOD. Then we are truly born again by the Spirit of God.
Another good Scripture to read is found in I Peter 1:23 ...Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.
Our last verses that we will cover in John 1 are verses 14 and 16.
Our introductory thought comes from verse 14: "THE ONLY BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER".
In the Old Testament we have many prophetic Scriptures that speak clearly that God has a Son. For instance, in Psalm 2 we are told that there would come A DAY that He (The Son of God) would be BEGOTTEN OF HIM (God The Father). In the very same Psalm The Lord God calls Him, that is, His Son, His Anointed (which means, Christ), or His Massiach that would in time take His Throne as King upon His Holy Hill. This is yet to be fulfilled.
But first, THE ONLY BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER must be made flesh, take on human flesh. In verse 14 we have HIS FLESH mentioned that we want to look into, and also HIS FULLNESS in verse 16.
First, HIS FLESH: In verse 14 we read that ... "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". God has always been in the world through His Word, His Prophets, etc. But when the fullness of time came (in that day), God sent forth His Son (His only begotten) into the world. For we read that the Word that was with God was God was manifested, or made flesh. In other words He took upon Himself human flesh.
The Holy Word tells us that He was made of a woman according to Galatians 4:4-5, which says ... "But, when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. THE ONLY BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER had to take on human flesh in order to bring eternal redemption to us, for a perfect and complete eternal sacrifice was needed to make an atonement for our souls. The animals sacrificed (as found in the Old Testament) were a covering from year to year. It had to continually be repeated year after year. But God the Son did it ONCE and for all. In the Old Testament Isaiah the Prophet prophesied of THE ONLY BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER coming to earth.
In chapter 7:14 and 9:6 of Isaiah we have two accounts of God the Son taking on human flesh by being born as a baby from a Jewish virgin who would be conceived of The Holy Spirit. We have its fulfillment written in the New Testament as it is recorded in The Book of Matthew 1:14-23 and also in The Book of Luke 1:30-35.
You might be interested to know that In The Book of Matthew the begotten Son of God is referred to and was to be called IMMANUEL (which means God with us). In The Book of Luke He is referred to as JESUS (which means Salvation). If we put the meaning of these two names together we would come up with ...God with us means Salvation ... Indeed His mission to earth was to bring Salvation to the world.
In verse 32 and 33 of Luke 1 Jesus is called the Son of the Highest that will reign for ever ..."He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David" : ( which simply is referring to the Tribe in which The Son of God would come through and the position He would hold on earth). His step father, Joseph, was from the Tribe of Judah and His mother was in the lineage of the Davidic line. " And he (Jesus, The Son of God) shall reign over the house of Jacob (Israel) for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end".
A day is coming when THE ONLY BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER Who is Eternal, shall usher in the Eternal Kingdom and rule over all the earth. Our prayer is ... even so come Lord Jesus.
In verse 35 of Luke 1, Jesus is also referred to as THAT HOLY THING that shall be called THE SON OF GOD. "And the angel answered and said unto her, 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".
Again, all of what has been said so far can only be understood and accepted by faith. Remember, what the Holy Scripture says ... "With God nothing shall be impossible, and that faith cometh by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17).
Let us say...Thank you Lord for your comforting words. I believe it, therefore, it is settled.
In order for THE ONLY BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER to be MADE FLESH AND DWELL AMONG US, He had to be a partaker of flesh and blood. He, God, sent His Son to appear in the likeness of sinful flesh, yet, He was perfectly holy. For he hath made him, to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (II Corinthians 5: 21). Which brings us to our SECOND POINT:
HIS FULLNESS: In verse 14 we read that And we beheld His Glory, which speaks of His Deity, the fullness of the Godhead. The Holy Scripture tells us that He, Jesus, The Son of God or THE ONLY BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER dwelt among the Jews (His own people) on earth until He had finished THE WORK that He had to accomplish. By the way, His dwelling place on earth was not a palace, (not like what He left in Heaven), but we are told that He had not a place to lay His head.
We read that He manifested Himself, His glory and His fullness to His Disciples ... they beheld His Glory, Deity.
One Scripture that speaks of His Disciples seeing His fullness is in The Book of Matthew 17:1-5. ...Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John, his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was as white as the light. And then they HEARD, verse 5, behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.
We have a glimpse of HIS FULLNESS, beholding His Glory through reading many Scriptures.
Another real good Scripture is in The Book of Hebrews 1:2-3. We read that, God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who, being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high,
As we continue verse 14 of John 1 ..."The Glory as of the only begotten of the father full of GRACE AND TRUTH". The Son of God had to take on flesh and blood in order to purge our sins by His death, burial, and resurrection, that we may experience the fullness of God's GRACE and TRUTH in our lives forever.
Another Scripture that we BEHOLD HIS GLORY is found also in The Book of Hebrews 2: starting with verse 9 ... "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man.
Two elements that we need in our lives is God's Grace and His Truth Who is His Son, Jesus, The Saviour of our soul.
The only way that we can obtain salvation is by GOD'S GRACE given to us through FAITH in His ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, Y'SHUA HA MASSIACH ADONAI. He is The Word of God that was from the beginning that became flesh and dwelt among us. To God The Almighty be all glory and honor. Amen.
IS AN ENGLISH WORD THAT MEANS
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