Monday 5 January 2009

The Word being a quality or aspect of God Himself

Teddy Trublood wrote:

"Word" and 1 John 5:7, KJV

(KJV) 1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

Some of us have met persons who believe that God is only one person, but that he has been in different forms at times (the Father or the Son). They are often called "Oneness" believers.
Because most of them believe that these two persons did not both exist at the same time (therefore keeping God as one person alone), they deny the pre-existence of the Son. Especially do they deny that 'the Word' at John 1 was the Son. To do this they insist that the Word at this point was simply a quality or aspect of God Himself and not another person who was with God (the Father). Most of them will say that Jesus only came into existence as a person when he was born on earth.

(KJV) John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
It is difficult to prove to them that the Word in John 1 was actually a person in heaven who became Jesus. (I try to reason on Phil. 2:5-8, 1Jn 4:9; etc.)

It may be helpful to use 1 John 5:7 for any of those "Oneness" folks who also believe the KJV is the best (or only) English translation to be used by Christians.

Notice that this spurious addition to scripture in the KJV uses "Word."

So, for those who insist on using the KJV, here is evidence for "the Word" being a person who was with God in the beginning being back as the same person with God again.
To which I reply:
Christ was the word "made flesh" (John 1:14) The Word expresses the divine intention, mind or purpose.

"Logos" does not in itself denote personality.(masculine gender in AV; Diaglott in the neuter) You can compare it with wisdom which is personified as a woman. (Proverbs 8:1,2,22, 23)
The creation was accompanied by the word, i.e. Gods speaking. (Gen.1:3; John 1:7,8) (Ps. 33:6,9; 107:20; 147:15,18,19; Isa 55:11) "By the word of Jehovah the heavens were made"
“For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: {standing: Gr. consisting}” (2Pe 3:5 AV)  “But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgement and perdition of ungodly men.” (2Pe 3:7 AV) Kept in store by the same word.
“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (Heb 11:3 AV)
 “He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion. When he uttereth his voice, [there is] a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures. {multitude: or, noise} {with: or, for}” (Jer 10:12-13 AV)

God's Word was with God (and in God), but angels, prophets and Christ have been vehicles by which God has expressed his Logos. Though Christ is the complete manifestation of the Logos. When the "word was made flesh" (Jo 1:14) Christ became the manifestation of the Word (Re 19:13; Lu 1:2) since his doctrine and words came from Jehovah his Father (Jo 7:16;17:14)
Php 2:6-7 does not mean being originally before he was born the image and glory of God, but rather being the image of God and continuing to be (1Co 11:7)

Born out of the Father he could be the most high of all men, because the others had a human father and mother, while Christ only a human mother but the heavenly Father.

Although Christ was in the form of God in his semblance and demeanour, he took on him the semblance and demeanour of a slave. (learning obedience Heb 5:8,9)(washing feet: Jo 13:14) Submitting his will to that of his Father.

1 comment:

  1. Teddy Trueblood replies:
    (NASB) Philippians 2:4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form [morphe: 'outward appearance'] of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped [harpagmos: 'taken by force' - see 'Phil 2-6,7,8' study in the Files section], 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. [Emphasis added]


    It seems clear that Christ existed before coming to earth. And while in spirit form (as are all those in heaven: God, angels are spirit persons) in heaven, he did not regard ... (Jesus is judging or deciding for himself here - before coming to earth). And while still in spirit form in heaven, he emptied Himself, taking the form.... Jesus did things himself ('emptied Himself 'and 'taking the form'). If he were just some part or quality of God himself, it would have said that God emptied it (how and why would you empty a quality??). And it would have said that God gave it the form of a bondservant.

    I don't see how this passage can be consistent with Jesus not existing as a self-aware, thinking person in heaven who makes his own decisions and acts upon them.

    At the Side of (or approaching) God

    How can the following scriptures be explained if only Jesus is God - or if only Jesus or the Father is God at any given time.

    Surely they both exist at the same time, and Jesus is not God - only the Father (Jehovah) is.

    (RSV) Acts 2:32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this which you see and hear. 34 For David did not ascend into the heavens; but he himself says, "The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, 35 till I make thy enemies a stool for thy feet.' 36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified."


    (Holman NT) Acts 7:55 But being full of the Holy Spirit, he [Stephen] gazed into heaven and saw God's glory, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, 56 "Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!"

    And Solomon agrees: Philippians clearly represents a distinct Person here, not
    just a Thought in God's mind. Or a spoken word from God.

    Frankly, I wonder why anyone would wish to deny Personhood to the one
    who became our Lord Jesus Christ. That never made any sense to me.


    I would not deny a personhood, just the opposite. I consider Jesus a real man of flesh and blood, but only come to live when Mary became pregnant.
    All the time Go existed, but Jesus had a beginning and as soon he was placed on this earth both existed at the same time.