In The Beginning

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (Jn. 1:1).

"The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old" (Prov. 8:22).

This writing will be devoted to understanding, by powerful scriptural confirmation, the immensely profound words written by the Apostle John, which are stated in our first text scripture above. Before we are done with this article we will see how that our first text scripture is inseparably connected to our second text scripture, and also exactly how this glorious revelation of divine truth came to the beloved Apostle. I'm certain that we all are in agreement that John was speaking of Jesus, the Son of God, when he refers to "The Word" in this passage. And I'm equally as certain that we will see here just what a powerful revelation this is that was given to John, in regard to the earliest history of the Son of God. Now the things that we want to understand correctly here are these: 1.) The exact "Beginning" that John is referring to; 2.) How the Son was with the Father in the beginning, and 3.) How the Son is also God. When we see these truths in their proper order, then we can truly appreciate the greatness of God's love for us through this Gospel more completely.

In The Beginning Was The Word...

First I would like for us to see that the "beginning" that John wrote of is a beginning that came before the "beginning" that we read about in Gen. 1:1, where it says, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." To begin establishing this understanding, we can proceed to our second text scripture which states, "The LORD possessed me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old." The word "possessed" comes from the Hebrew word "Qanah," which can be translated to mean "created." Now it is evident that the eighth chapter of Proverbs is the testimony of Wisdom. And it is also evident that "wisdom," in terms of being a capacity and process of God's mind and Spirit, was NEVER created; because wisdom is an attribute that has always existed in God, Who absolutely and positively NEVER HAD a beginning, and certainly was never created (LORD, as used in the above text scripture, is translated from the Hebrew word "Yehovah," which means "the Self-Existent," which without question is speaking of God the Father).

So by these scriptural realities alone, we can see that the "Wisdom" speaking in Proverbs 8 is an actual Being, or Person, Who was created by God the Father before He ever created anything or anyone else (in Heaven or Earth) at all ("before His works of old" - Prov. 8:22). And there is only one Being, or Person in the entire Bible, Who is ever referred to as "Wisdom," and that is God's beloved Son Jesus (I Cor. 1:24,30). Now we can, by the grace and power of God's Spirit, begin to really unravel this beautiful mystery of the Son of God, and see what it means to you and I as believers in Christ, and as partakers of His glorious Gospel. Jesus Himself referred to Himself as "the beginning of the creation of God" (Rev. 3:14). So the "beginning" that John wrote of was and is JESUS! Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was created by His Father before anything else ever existed, except of course the Father, Who has just plainly ALWAYS BEEN! So He was not only with the Father in the beginning, He in fact IS the beginning. As the Apostle Paul said:  "[Christ] ...the firstborn of every creature: ...And he is before all things, ...Who is the beginning," (Col. 1:15,17,18). PRAISE GOD!!

...And The Word Was With God...

Now to clarify and confirm that God's Son Jesus was with Him before all things were created, let's listen to the words of Jesus in His prayer to His Father for His followers: "And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began... (and) Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world" (Jn. 17:5,24 - NIV). Praise be to God, friend I hope you see the beauty of this understanding, and the absoluteness of reality that Jesus Christ was most assuredly with His Father before anything else ever existed! And knowing that all revelation knowledge from God can and must always be consistently confirmed by the Scriptures, there can be no doubt that John the Apostle received the glorious revelation of the beginning of the Son of God through the study of the eighth chapter of the book of Proverbs, from which we are expounding this holy truth today.

But we're not yet finished with this potent scriptural confirmation of the Son of God existing and being with the Father before the creation. Let's now look at our continuing text in Proverbs 8: "I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was" (v.23). The Hebrew word "nawsak" for the phrase "set up," means "to be anointed." So in this we see that Jesus, the Person of God's wisdom, was anointed BY GOD THE FATHER before the earth existed. And next: "When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:" (vs. 24,25). By these two verses we can easily see that Whoever is speaking here in Prov. 8, did not always exist, but rather was "brought forth" (from Someone and by Someone) before anything else was created.

Now let's look at the remaining text in Proverbs 8:22-30, just to drive the nail in really tight on this point: "While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;" (vs. 26-30). Oh Glory! This passage shows us so irrefutably that this is a Person speaking about being with another Person before and DURING the creation of all things! Praise be to God!! In verse 30 where He says "Then I was by him," He is saying that He was "beside" Him during the creation, as "by" is more perfectly translated as "beside." And maybe the most beautiful translation in this passage is also in verse 30, where Wisdom says, "and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him." The word "rejoicing" here comes from the Hebrew word "sawkhak," and actually means "joyfully laughing and playing." Now that my friend, is a Son speaking of having great joy in the company and presence of His Father!

Now to cap off this segment of the article, I want us to examine something else in verse 30, where the Son says that He was "as one brought up with Him:" The term "brought up" comes from the Hebrew word "awmone," and refers to someone trained by another to be a master workman, or a skilled workman. In this we see the revelation that Jesus was truly the One Who created all things. John 1:3 tells us that "All things were made by him (the Word); and without him was not any thing made that was made." And the Apostle Paul says in Ephesians 3:9 that God "created all things by Jesus Christ:" And again In Colossians 1:16, Paul again speaking of Christ, says "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:" So God's Son had to be with Him before anything or anyone else ever existed, because God instructed His Son on what and how to create; and it was God Who made a master workman of His Son, for the purpose of the creation. Two points in case: It was Jesus Christ that God was speaking to when He said "Let there be light," etc. And it was Jesus Christ that God was speaking to when He said "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:" (Gen. 1:3,26). It is written that man was made in the image of God, so God had to be speaking to someone else Who was also God, when He said this, which brings us to our next segment of this understanding. And no, God could not have been speaking to angels, cherubim, etc., because there is no scripture stating that man was made in the image of any of these, but only that he was made in the image of God.

...And The Word Was God.

To establish the point that Jesus is God, and how He is God, but yet not the same as the Father, let's first consider that He is referred to as "the only begotten" of the Father in the Scriptures (Jn. 1:14,16; Jn. 3:18). To beget someone means that a child comes forth from his father's body. To bear a child means that the child comes forth from his mother's body. And of course, with us the child bearing process has to involve a father and a mother. But for Jesus to be the only begotten son of God the Father, means that He came forth from His Father's body. This is what we saw in Proverbs 8:24,25 where Wisdom said that He was "brought forth" before the creation existed. What this means is that the birth of the Son of God took place in the heavenly places untold eons before the  child in Bethlehem was born of Mary. God didn't need a wife to bring forth His Son! Why not? BECAUSE HE IS GOD!! And the fact that Jesus is referred to as the ONLY begotten of the Father, means that absolutely no one else in the history of existence is like Him, because no one else has ever come forth solely from the Father's substance, as an actual birth type of experience. Every one else who has ever existed, whether in heaven or in earth, has been created by the handiwork of the Son of God, as we have also seen consistently confirmed by the Scriptures.

Now all that is left to us is the obvious: Seeing that Jesus literally "proceeded forth and came from God" (Jn.8:42), and there was no one else involved in this begetting of God's Son other than God, then Jesus has to consist solely of God's essence. So there is no other possibility of Him being anything else EXCEPT God. In other words Jesus is the only Person or Being apart from the Father Who is Deity, because He is the only One who has been made entirely of the substance of the One Who is Deity, meaning the Father. This is how He is referred to as "the express image of his (the Father's) person " (Heb. 1:3). This simply means that Jesus is, in nature and manner of being, everything that the Father is. How could He not be, seeing that He is solely made of the Father's substance, with no mixture at all? This is what Jesus was referring to when He called Himself "the Amen, the faithful and true witness" [of the Father] (Rev. 3:14). This is to say that He is the "so be it" of God, the perfect representation of the Father.

But let's be certain that while Jesus is a "spitting image" of God the Father, this certainly doesn't MAKE Him God the Father. He obviously can't be the Father, and still be the only begotten of the Father. Jesus said in one place, "He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father;" (Jn. 14:9). Many have taken this statement to mean that Jesus was proclaiming to be the Father. But let's consider that if we walk in the Spirit of God without sin, as we are called to do, then whoever sees us should not be seeing us, but rather they should be seeing Jesus. Does that make you or I, or anyone who is blessed enough to walk in holiness, Jesus? Of course it doesn't. The Apostle Paul said, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:" (Gal. 2:20). Does that make Paul Jesus, because he was dead to himself, and allowed Christ to dwell in Him fully? Of course not, but it does mean that he could have rightfully said "If you've seen me, you've seen Jesus." And to add to this, Jesus clearly stated that His Father was greater than Him, and that His Father knows things that He doesn't know (Jn. 14:28; Mk. 13:32).

And for a couple more scriptural points to present this truth even more clearly: In Hebrews 1:4,5,8,9, in a passage taken from the Psalms, we see this glorious revelation brought home in living color. In this passage we see first of all that the Son was indeed made, or created (v. 4).  And we see that the Father spoke to the Son and informed Him that He (the Father) had begotten Him (v. 5). After this we are shown that the Father refers to the Son as "God." (v. 8). And last but not least we see that the Father told the Son that He (the Father) is His (the Son's) God, and that He (the Father) had anointed the Son (v. 9). And many would have the Father as just the Spirit, and Jesus being the bodily personification of the Father. But if that were true, then first John 5:7 would be incorrect, where we are told that "there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the holy Ghost:" If the Father was only the Spirit, and Jesus was the bodily form of the Father, then there would only be two that bear record in heaven: the Father and the Word, or the holy Ghost and the Word. And by the same token Colossians 1:15 tells us that Jesus is "the image of the invisible God." But the literal translation of the word "image" refers to a likeness. And while the Father is invisible to all men, having never been seen by any man (Jn. 1:18), the Scriptures certainly confirm that He is visible to Jesus, and to those in Heaven; and most assuredly has His own body to see  (Jn. 6:46; Jn. 18:10; Jn. 5:37).

The Magnitude of God's Love

And in conclusion, what this truth reveals to us more than anything else, is just how great God's love for us really is. All of us who are parents readily know that we would rather have suffering come upon ourselves, than upon our children. The reason of course is because parents naturally have a great love for their children. But we can be assured that God has a whole lot more love for His Son, than any of us have ever been remotely capable of having for our children. And yet God was willing to send His dear Son to this world, the Son Who "was daily his delight," and Who "rejoiced always before him" before creation existed; to suffer great affliction, reproach, pain, hunger, weariness, isolation, heartbreak; and the most cruel death known to man, in order to make a way for you and I to be redeemed from sin and death, to be reconciled to fellowship and favor with Him, and to have a glorious opportunity to lay hold on immortality and eternal life. Now friend, THAT IS LOVE!! And Jesus was willing to have it so, for our sakes. And that is why He can be trusted at all times, and in all things, to be working everything for our good (Rom. 8:28).

And with everything that we've read in mind, let's finally consider the words of the Apostles, who tried so valiantly to put the greatness of this love into words: "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." (Jn. 3:16) And again: "For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:7,8). Dear one, I hope that this writing has added some degree of appreciation, life and meaning to your understanding of this glorious mystery, and to the unspeakable love that God has for you. For a more complete understanding of the relationship that exists between the Father and the Son, and on the role of the holy Ghost, please see our companion tract to this one, called The True Oneness of God.

"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, ..."
(I Cor.12:13)

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