As new believers, Christians are usually told to begin with the book of John. I did that, and was immediately confused by the very first verse.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Stop! What? We have heard and read this so often! We know the verse, but do we understand the concept? It seems to hold a profound mystery. At least it did for me! What is the Word? What do ‘words’ have to do with God?
It says the Word was from the beginning. It says the Word was always with God, and that the Word IS God! We call the Hebrew Scriptures the Word of God! Is that what we are to understand? Or is it speaking of Yeshua? Yeshua was called the Word made flesh! Are these two ideas or one?
How are we to reconcile these?
There is a reason why the first chapter of John leaped off the page when I read it! Even though I may have a better handle on what John is saying now than when I first read it, I am not convinced that I see the completeness of what this profound teaching tells us about our Creator. I do, however, see this verse as a key to our understanding!
IN THE BEGINNING!
There are several teachers out there that take this statement literally. They begin at the beginning! (What a concept!) Everything we need to know is found in Genesis (B’re’shiyt in Hebrew). They not only study Genesis, they have returned to the original Hebrew language in order to search out the mysteries we, as his children, want and need to know.
Am I saying you have to learn Hebrew in order to be His child? No! But, wouldn’t it be sweet to meet Him and be able to say, “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of YHVH” in His language?
I am terrible with learning new languages, but I can dream, can’t I? Most linguists agree that we can trace all languages back to Hebrew! Must have been that Tower of Babel moment when He confused the languages! I am sure that He understands what we say no matter what language we have learned in this life, but wouldn’t it be nice? I digress.
IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD
If we consider the verse by individual phrases we start with: In the beginning was the Word.”
What ‘word?’ What did it sound like? What did it say?
The Word seems to be from the very first moment of creation! (Isn’t that what John is telling us when he quotes the first line of Genesis, “In the beginning?”) At the very least it is the beginning of our history. It is the beginning of YHVH’s creation. And it began with the Word.
Doesn’t Genesis teach us that YHVH spoke and it was created? Between Genesis 1:3 and Genesis 1:26 we see the words, “And God Said” 8 times! Eight is the number of completeness! It is the creation account!
Get the gist? He Said and it Happened! So, there is one way to understand the Word from the beginning. He literally Spoke the world into existence!
HE BLESSED HIS CREATION!
If the idea that creation was the result of His spoken word is amazing, prepare to have your mind blown!
I just noticed something else when I was going through the first couple chapters of Genesis. He spoke things into existence and He also blessed them! That sounds like He spoke a blessing over His creation!
Who usually does the blessing? Isn’t it the Father of the house? Isn’t it the priest?
Was YHVH the first Melchizedek?!! And, was that priesthood handed down to His ‘first born son?’ I never saw this connection before! The Father blessed His creation! It would make sense to see it begin with Him, transfer to mankind (Adam as the first Melchizedek) and return to Yeshua as our High Priest by the order of Melchizedek. A full circle! (Who is your High Priest: http://www.bulldozerfaith.com/who-is-your-high-priest )
The sages also say that when the Ten Words were given on Mt. Sinai that the people not only heard, but saw the actual letters manifested before them! If that sounds like a fairytale, I submit that speaking the entire universe into existence is a whole lot more unbelievable than that! Yet, I do believe it!
Back to John.
AND THE WORD WAS WITH GOD
If we accept that in the beginning was the word, and words are what created the world, we can move on to explore the next phrase: “and the Word was with God.”
What is this saying?
At the very least ‘with God’ must mean an agreement. “I’m with you!” We say it all the time. No argument. Your thoughts are my thoughts, exactly!
We all have come to understand that the Word spoken of in John chapter One is a description of Yeshua. So, Yeshua was ‘with’ God from the beginning.
Yeshua is described in this verse:
Heb 1:3 who being the effulgence of his glory, and the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had made purification of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
What is Paul saying here? ‘The very image of his substance’ sounds like total agreement! Yeshua is the image of all the attributes of YHVH! In Yeshua is the essence, character, power and might of YHVH. The Word that spoke creation into existence is in the image of YHVH! And all things are upheld by the word of his power!
Isn’t that fantastic!?
AND THE WORD WAS GOD
John says that the Word IS God.
So, if Yeshua is the Word, He has always been the image of YHVH!
That means that the Word is identical to YHVH. Doesn’t that mean that they are not just similar, they are one? In Hebrew: echad?
We can conclude that the Word and YHVH are One! Where have I read that before?
Yeshua said: I and the Father are one. (John 10:30)
Yeshua also quoted Deuteronomy 6:4!
Mar 12:28 And one of the scribes came, and heard them questioning together, and knowing that he had answered them well, asked him, What commandment is the first of all?
Mar 12:29 Jesus answered, The first is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one:
What does ‘echad’ mean? A paradigm learned in the Christian church is that ‘one’ means a plurality, of ‘one accord’ or ‘one in three persons.’ According to an article that explores the meaning of ‘echad’ it could be that we do not have a Hebrew understanding of the word.
I am quoting from an article found here: http://halfshekel.com/echad/index.html
“Originally, I had planned to poll the entire Old Testament for the word “echad,” and note how that word was actually used. That task would have taken “forever,” so I decided to limit the search to within the Law of Moses only (and this still took a very long time). The only exception to all of this was that I did not count the instance of the word “echad” at Deuteronomy 6:4 itself, since it is the meaning of that particular verse that is in question.
The word “echad” appears in the Law of Moses 387 times (including Deuteronomy 6:4 itself). Excluding Deuteronomy 6:4, the word was used to indicate a numeric value, or, a quantity 359 times, or 93 percent (93%) of the time (numeric pronouns were included in this total).”
The author from the halfshekel site says that the preponderance of evidence in the Old Testament shows that ‘echad’ describes a value or a quantity. One means One. The same. No difference. No division. One.
When Yeshua said, I and the Father are One, he meant just that.
I like the ISV translation of this verse!
John 1:1 In the beginning, the Word existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.
WHAT ABOUT VERSE 2 AND 3?
John re-states the important concept. Here is the second witness on the heels of the first verse!
John 1:2 He existed in the beginning with God.
What did the ‘Word’ do?
John 1:3 Through him all things were made, and apart from him nothing was made that has been made.
Isn’t that saying that the Word was the creator? My e-Sword gives me the following verses to corroborate:
Eph 3:9 and to make all men see what is the dispensation of the mystery which for ages hath been hid in God who created all things;
Col 1:15 who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation;
Col 1:16 for in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him;
Heb 1:2 hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds;
Heb 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds have been framed by the word of God, so that what is seen hath not been made out of things which appear.
2Peter 3:5 For this they willfully forget, that there were heavens from of old, and an earth compacted out of water and amidst water, by the word of God;
Psalms 33:6 By the word of Jehovah were the heavens made, And all the host of them by the breath of his mouth..
CREATOR: GOD WITH US!
Now for the great nugget of gold we have been mining for!
John 1:14 The Word became flesh and lived among us. We gazed on his glory, the kind of glory that belongs to the Father’s unique Son, who is full of grace and truth.
John 1:4 In him was life, and that life brought light to humanity.
John 1:5 And the light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out.
John 8:12 Later on Yeshua spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. The one who follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
Do you see? The Word that spoke Creation into existence put on flesh and lived among us! He came as the Word! He IS the Word! He taught the Word, and he fulfilled the Word! The Word proclaims Him. The Word prophesies of His return!
HOW DO WE KNOW HE IS THE WORD: the CREATOR?
Still not convinced that The Word, Yeshua and YHVH are one and the same? How can we know that? Why did YHVH become a man and dwell with us?
He came because He is a promise-keeper! He came to reconcile with the Lost Sheep of His Holy Nation: Israel. He came to fulfill to the very day and hour everything prophesied in His Word since the beginning!
That’s the absolute proof to a skeptical world. Do your own research! Of all the events in the history of mankind, the one with the most evidence, the one most miraculous (in terms of the probability that all the things prophesied about the Messiah could be manifested in one man), the one event that no-one disputes at all, is the resurrection of Yeshua!
And every jot and tittle of the Hebrew Scripture proclaims that His written word is given to us by our Creator! And we can prove it by the fulfillment of every promise! And the hope of the promises to come!
He gave us His Word! What He has said, He will do. He promised us! He has already proven it! And He will prove it again to a disbelieving world. HalleluYah!