STUDY SERIES: Erroneously understood verses to teach Yeshua is God
JOHN 1:1, 14 - THE WORD COULD NOT BE GOD
THE FACT THAT YESHUA-CHRISTOS IS THE WORD OF GOD PROVES THAT HE IS NOT GOD
(John 1:1, 14 all verses from the NKJV)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... 14 And the Word became 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.
Believers of the ‘trinity’ doctrine jump right away into a conclusion that since The Lord Yeshua was the Word and that “the Word was God” then He MUST BE God! They would double down on this error by teaching that it was God Himself who became man and dwelt among men in verse 14. However, that is simply not the correct understanding of this evangelical presentation. In fact, this incorrect understanding has misled the billions of believers ever since it was conceptualized and formulated as a doctrine at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD.
Let us analyze and see if this argument can make any sense after we bring this under scrutiny in light of the Gospel.
LOGICAL REASONING BETWEEN AN ENTITY AND ITS WORDS
Let us apply some objective reasoning on the relationship of a word and its speaker. Let us use an example (and as an analogy) the relationship of a LAST WILL with its EXECUTOR. A Will, also known as Testament or Covenant, is a contract made up of words that binds the executor with the other party involved. Although it possesses the same power and effectivity of the executor, as it legally represents and speaks on behalf of the executor or signee, however, it is not the actual entity or executor! The executor remains to be the one who signed and executed the document. The same logic also applies to corporation by-laws, as it does with the laws of the land – although they are undoubtedly the binding words and statements within their domain, however they are NOT the actual governing or implementing entity itself. In the case of a corporation the implementing body is usually the Board of Directors, while for the government it will be the lawmakers and more so, the President.
Does this logic not apply with The Christ being God’s Word and COVENANT in our time?
“I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness,
And will hold Your hand;
I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people,
As a light to the Gentiles…
The Lord Yeshua-Christos was given by God as a covenant to the people. Is the COVENANT THE SAME AS THE EXECUTOR? Of course not! That is NOT THE NATURAL LOGIC of this relationship.
PHRASE BY PHRASE ANALYSIS
Let us analyze the three phrases of John 1:1 and see how this verse actually proves that God's Son, although He is God's Word, is not God Himself:
In the beginning WAS The Word - God is from everlasting and therefore has no beginning (Ps. 90:2). And because His words were with Him since everlasting, therefore His words also have no beginning. What then has a beginning? The outcome of the transformation of God's Word into His Son. How did God's Word transform to become His Son? By virtue of God's decree, He designated His Word to become His Son. When did that occur?
7 “I will declare the decree:
The Lord has said to Me,
‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
As testified by David, there was a day designated by God to be an exact moment and time when He brought forth His Son into existence. Who was brought forth (or born) into existence (thus has a beginning), whose goings forth or origins are from everlasting?
2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
The 'One who will be ruler over Israel', or God's Son Yeshua. is He whose goings forth or origins (Mic. 5:2 NIV) are from everlasting. Which are the origins of God's Son? The very words of God that are everlasting. God's Son began to exist at the day and time when God designated His Word to be His Son. Before that day, the Word of God was not yet His Son.
The first phrase of John 1:1 stating that 'in the beginning was the Word' points to the very beginning of creation, after the time when God already made His Word to be His Son. What furthers the proof that the opening phrase of John 1:1 points to the beginning of creation? Apostle John's testimony in the succeeding verse that "All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made" (verse 3). This phrase already proves that The Christ Yeshua is not God by the fact that He had a beginning, He was begotten by God, whereas God is from everlasting.
Herein lies wisdom: The reason why The Lord Yeshua is called the BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD is simply because He is the only One who was brought forth by God from nothing else but His Word. Everything else was already created through Him after God already brought Him out as His Son.
And the Word was with God - If The Word is God and The Speaker of The Word is God also, then how many Gods are there? This would come out to having TWO GODS. This understanding cannot be true since it will conflict with the truth that there is only One God and no one else (Isa. 43:10 / Ps. 86:10 / Jn. 17:1, 3). How should this phrase be understood?
As this verse refers to the beginning of creation, and that God executed His act of creation through His already existing Son as His Word, then naturally, His Word was with Him.
And The Word was God - This phrase makes them jump into a conclusion that Christ is God being God's Word. But wait, why was the linking verb 'WAS' used in the phrase? Is it to show that the Word was ONLY God in the past and NOT in the present? Does not their argument seems to show that God CHANGED from being God unto NOT being God anymore? Of course, not. This rather proves of people's big misunderstanding about God regarding His attribute of ABSOLUTE STABILITY - He will never change as He already stated - not before nor at any other time (Ps. 10:24, 27 / Mal. 3:6).
Here's a classic METAPHOR that is wrongfully given a LITERAL INTERPRETATION. The phrase 'THE WORD WAS GOD' is simply a metaphor just like the phrase 'TIME IS GOLD'. Because 'time is gold' does it mean that you can just go to a store and purchase anything with time as your note of payment? Of course not! It simply shows how time is just as valuable as gold. In this phrase 'the Word was God', Apostle John simply presented the value, capability and effectiveness of God's Word - figuratively! The phrase 'the Word was God' should not be taken literally otherwise one will fall into a dilemma of having to answer the question posted above asking why the linking verb 'was' was used and not 'is'? John simply conveyed the truth about the power possessed by The Word since the speaker is none other than God who is Almighty (Job 11:7); and that it is a matter of fact that God's Word possesses the capability, effectiveness and binding power of God who is the Speaker of the Word!
THE WORD BECAME FLESH, THE FLESH DIED, RESURRECTED AS MAN
Verse 14 stated, "THE WORD BECAME FLESH". This caused another misunderstanding and wrong conclusion from the majority. They rush to a generalization that God became man - that indeed He became His Son. This is an understanding that is very erroneous. Here's why: The verse did not say that God became man, but rather, that His Word (or His Son) became flesh or man. This simple twist of what is written has indeed become the cornerstone of an erroneous teaching about God and His Son. Let us understand that in verse 14 God has already begotten His Son, meaning He has already designated His Word to become His Son. If so, then His Word who became flesh was none other than His Son. In other words, The Son of God was He who became flesh to give fulfillment to the prophesy concerning The Son of Man (Mat. 9:6/ 16:13-17) who will become The Savior of mankind. Why is there a need for God's Son to become personified and become a human being? Simply because as God's Word He cannot die! Let us be logical for a minute - CAN GOD'S WORD EVER BE KILLED BY A MORTAL MAN? Can any weapon of man ever hurt or kill God's Word? That will be an impossible thing.
THE SON THAT WAS THE WORD AND STILL IS – HE IS MAN
The status of The Lord Yeshua as God’s Word did not end after His deployment to the world. In fact, the beautiful design of God is to make His Word personal and give man an experience to interact with Him on a personal level. The Word simply became a man:
11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.
The horseman on a white horse seen by Apostle John and whom he called Faithful and True is the Lord Yeshua. This is proven by the fact that He is called The Word of God – a position that is only of The Christ! If The Christ is already God, then how was he seen by John in his vision?
Where is now the Word of God, The Lord Yeshua-Christos?
19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.
The Word of God is now with God; in fact He is seated at the right hand of God! What is He now that He is seated on God’s right hand?
17 Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand,
Upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself.
In the prophecy of David the one seated on God’s right hand is A MAN! We confirm this to be The Christ because the same is referred as the ‘Son of Man’, a title that Christ used to call Himself, as evidenced in His conversation with His apostles:
13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”
14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
The Christ is the Son of Man, as He Himself stated and was testified by Apostle Peter. To further the proof that Christ is still man and not God now that He is back in heaven, He will be seen as He is even on His return.
11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
The angels who were present when The Lord ascended to heaven testified that He will come back 'in like manner' as when He left. What do they mean by their testimony? Apostle John explained that "when He is revealed... we shall see Him as He is." Based on this statement of John, we can derive an understanding that The Lord can be seen AS HE IS, at the present time! The fact that He can be seen 'as He is' only proves that even at present time, as well as in the future, He is not God.
THE WORD OF GOD DECLARES WHO GOD IS
If the Word of God (The Christ Yeshua) is not God, then who is?
1 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, 2 as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
The Word, being God’s Covenant, is the one who witnessed that The Father (The Speaker of The Word) is The ONLY TRUE GOD - and His declaration is final and binding! How BINDING is it? To believe in this truth means ETERNAL LIFE for man.
In the relationship of The Speaker and His Word, only one of them is God. The Speaker and His Word are not both Gods in position and title in the same logic as the will and testament (or covenant) and its executor. While The Word of God is The Son, the Speaker of The Word is God - and He is The Father introduced by The Son as the only true God! This is the truth that ties up with the mission of The Lord Yeshua to introduce the true God, a mission that He has accomplished well:
6 “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.
May God’s grace and truth be upon all who read this message of The Lord.