Studies in the Scriptures
Zion's Watch Tower
"THE BEGINNING OF THE CREATION OF GOD"
"In the beginning was the Word [Logos] and the
Word [Logos] was with the God and the Word [Logos]
was a God. The same was in the beginning with the God.
By him were all things made and without him was not
anything made that was made."—
The Logos was Jehovah God’s first creative act as respects intelligent beings. Long before man was created, or our earth was brought from its chaotic condition, long before angels and cherubim were created, Divine Power brought forth a Son on the spirit plane—Jehovah’s First-Begotten—glorious, perfect, beautiful—His own image.
This glorious One is in our text designated the Logos, the Word, the Message, the Expression of God. In the Old Testament He is symbolically referred to as "Wisdom" (
): "Jehovah possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old....Then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him, and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him."
This mighty One, personified as Wisdom, is declared by St. Paul to be "the First-born of all creation." (
The Psalmist similarly refers to Him as Jehovah’s "First-born, higher than the kings of earth." (
Jesus thus refers to Himself as one who had a prehuman existence, saying, "Before Abraham was, I am." (
The glorified, ascended Christ, in Apocalyptic vision, declared the same great truth, that He was "the Beginning of the creation of God." (
And again He declared, "I am the First and the Last."—
#Re 1:17; 2:8
All of these Scriptures fully corroborate the statement of our text that He who subsequently became the world’s Redeemer was long before, the primary Son of God. He ranked first, not only in seniority, but also in
honor, dignity and station, above all other sons of God, not one of whom was like Himself—the direct Creation of Jehovah. "For all things were made by the Logos, and without Him was not one thing made that was made."
He was not the Creator in the primary sense of the word, but in the secondary sense. He was the active Agent of Jehovah in all of His subsequent creative work. Thus He was not only the First-born of all creation, but, individually, He was also the last of Jehovah’s creation. To this agree the words of St. Paul, "All things are
the Father and all things are
Surely many have failed to appreciate not only the Divine personality of Jehovah, but also the greatness of Him who is styled "the Son of God."
IN THE DARK AGES
There was a time when God’s people did not possess the Bible in their own language, when the ability to read it was extremely limited, and when nobody possessed such wonderful Bibles (with references and concordances) as are common today. It should not surprise us that in that far-off time confusing errors crept into the traditional faith of the Church. The contention of the Jews was that Jesus of Nazareth was an impostor and that His mighty works were done under the influence of the fallen angel, Beelzebub. Should we think it strange that in the heat of discussion some of the followers of Jesus would make extravagant claims for Him in their endeavor to oppose the theory that made of Messiah a mere sinful man?
It does not surprise us, therefore, that early in the third century claims were put forward in the name of Christ and His Apostles which neither He nor they ever authorized. The Apostles declared Him to be "the Son of God with power," and that He was "holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners." (
.) The Master Himself declared, "My Father is greater than I."
"He is above all;" "He sent Me;" "I came to do the
will of My Father in Heaven, and not Mine own will;" "I delight to do Thy will, O My God; Thy Law is written in My heart."—
#Joh 14:28; 6:38
True, He also declared, "I and My Father are one"; but He showed in what this oneness consisted—that it was a oneness of will, of purpose, of work. Because He had fully submitted His will to the Father’s will and had made the Father’s will His own, therefore they were one.—
#Joh 5:19-23; 10:30
The Master again illustrated this oneness when He prayed for His disciples that "they all might be one, even as Thou, Father, and I are one." (
.) Evidently the Master did not pray that His disciples should all become
one in person,
but that they should all become of one mind, of one heart, of one disposition through their loyalty and obedience to the Word and to the Spirit of God. And this oneness, He declared, was the kind which subsisted between the Heavenly Father and Himself.
Leaving the simplicity of the teachings of Jesus and of the Apostles, some went to the extreme of declaring that Jesus was His own Father; that the terms Father, Son and Holy Spirit all applied to one person, who manifested Himself to mankind in three different ways corresponding to these names—one God in three manifestations.
Others took a still different view and claimed that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were three Gods who operated as one. In proportion as these unscriptural human theories were received, they produced confusion. And when asked how three persons could logically be one person, and how one person could be three persons equal in glory and power, of course no answer could be given.
Then the subterfuge was raised, "This is a great mystery which nobody can explain."
It should not surprise us from what we know of the structure of human nature that these extreme views were opposed by others of the opposite extreme, some claiming
that Jesus was a mere man; that He was born as are other men; that Joseph was His father, etc. Thus we behold the danger of any variation whatever from the precise teachings of the Word of God.
It should be needless to say to Bible students that there is nothing in the Bible which declares a trinity of Gods. There is just one passage of Scripture quoted in proof of the Trinity (
); it is never quoted by scholars, because all scholars know that it was tampered with, several words having been added in the seventh century which are not found in any New Testament manuscript of earlier date. And those added words make the statement as a whole foolish.
If you will turn in your Bibles to this passage, you may strike out the spurious words as follows in verse seven:
"In Heaven the Father, the Word and the Holy
Ghost, and these three are one";
and in Verse eight the words,
"and there are three that bear witness in earth."
After thus eliminating the spurious additions, after thus removing from the precious ointment this dead fly of falsehood which was inserted for the very purpose of deceiving, and because no Scripture could be found to give color to the doctrine of the trinity—then you will be able to read that portion of the Word of God in its purity and simplicity. Then the "mystery" part will be gone from it forever. It will be in full accord with the entire Bible in declaring, "To us there is
the Father, of whom are all things, and
Jesus Christ, by whom are all things and we by Him." (
.) How absurdly the passage reads in our Common Version, stating that the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are bearing witness in Heaven that Jesus is the Son of God!
The pure Word of God presents simply and beautifully the fact that the great Creator, the Father of all mercies, is Jehovah God; and that He has an Only Begotten Son who is yet to be the Savior or Deliverer of all of Adam’s race willing to accept the grace of God provided
in Him. And there is one Holy Spirit, "the Spirit of Truth," "the Spirit of Wisdom," "the spirit of a sound mind," the spirit of power, energy, will, mind of the Father—which is also the spirit of the Son, and which must be also the spirit, disposition, mind, will of all those who now come unto the Father as sons through the adoption which is in Christ Jesus.
THE ONLY BEGOTTEN HONORED
Before the beginning of the creation of God, before the Only Begotten of the Father became the Alpha of Creation, the Father had wonderful purposes in Himself respecting all His great Plan for the everlasting future.
It included this world, and mankind, and the permission of sin, and the redemption of man from sin and its penalty, and the restoration to be accomplished by Messiah’s Kingdom and the glorious work of eternity in further creations in world after world.
But, as the Master declared, these things the Father had kept in His own power—in His own hand. He divulged them not to the angels, nor even to His dearly beloved "Only Begotten Son." We have seen how this Divine secret, Divine purpose, was symbolically represented in the scroll in the hands of Jehovah, as pictured in
. We have seen that this revelation was delivered to the Lamb, the Only Begotten One, after He had been slain—after His consecration at Jordan, and in its fullness after His death at Calvary, when He ascended on High, glorified at the right hand of the Father’s majesty.—
But before the Logos was made flesh, before He undertook to be man’s Redeemer, the Heavenly Father set before Him the glorious proposition. He informed the Son that He had a plan, a scroll, and that the execution thereof was to be given to One who would prove Himself worthy, by demonstrating His loyalty to the Divine will.
We read that God
His Only Begotten Son into the world, but we are not to understand from this that He
came under Divine command, the refusal of which would have meant Divine displeasure and His own degradation.
On the contrary, we understand the matter clearly when we hearken to the Apostle’s statement. He declares that Messiah left the glory which He had with the Father before the world was, and humbled Himself to take upon Himself man’s form and then consecrated Himself even unto death—all because of the joy that the Father had set before Him. The joy set before the Logos was:
(1) That thus He might serve the Heavenly Father’s gracious purposes.
(2) That He might recover mankind from the state of sin and death into which all were plunged by Father Adam’s one act of disobedience.
(3) Additionally He was promised the honor and distinction of the Messianic Kingdom by and through which mankind would be blessed and uplifted.
(4) He was promised a special Bride class to be selected from among the redeemed race of men—a class having His own disposition of loyalty to God and to righteousness, and faithful unto death—which like Himself would be exalted in the Chief Resurrection from the earthly to Heavenly condition, far above principalities and powers and every name that is named.
(5) He was promised that His own personal distinction would be to all eternity a participation in the qualities of the Divine nature; He would possess not only glory and honor, but also inherent life, deathlessness, immortality.—
For these joys, He left His glory, He was made flesh, He sacrificed His earthly life; and, being raised from the dead, He entered into His promised joy. Since, He is waiting in expectation for the completion of the Church, His Bride, the members of His Body, assured that then the Father will give Him the heathen for an inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for His possession, that He may bind Satan, put down sin and uplift the sinner
and bring everlasting order out of earth’s confusion by destroying the wilfully wicked.
A GOD BUT NOT THE GOD
As all Bible scholars know, the word
in the Old Testament Hebrew is of plural form, somewhat like our English word sheep. Thus we read in Genesis, "The Elohim [Gods] said, Let us make man in our image."
This would very properly apply to the Heavenly Father and the Heavenly Son, in full accord with our text.
"Without Him [the Logos] was not anything made that was made." The word Elohim signifies, literally,
mighty, the powerful, the great.
Surely it would be strictly proper to consider the
mighty, great, powerful as the active Agent of the Almighty One, Jehovah, who is also styled the Mighty Elohim.
not only is used in respect to the Heavenly Father and His Heavenly Son, but it is also used in respect to angels as the messengers of God and of Christ, mighty to the doing of the will of God. (
.) "Thou hast made man a little lower than the angels
Still further notice that this word
is used in respect to men; when Divinely appointed and active as God’s agents they were mighty, or
Thus we read of the seventy judges of Israel appointed by Moses, "The master shall bring him unto the judges
We have given a very literal rendering of our text, showing the fine distinction of the Greek original in a way that our English version does not show it. As Bible students we have not in the past been sufficiently critical in our study of God’s Word; but now, in Divine providence, it is possible for those even who have practically no knowledge of the Greek and Hebrew to understand the Scripture presentations thoroughly.
Our text in the common English version misrepresents the true thought of the original; but as we have rendered it, the matter is so simple and clear that a child may
understand. Jehovah God is from everlasting to everlasting and had no beginning. The Logos had a beginning—He Himself was the beginning. "In the beginning was the Logos and the Logos was
God." He was a mighty One, the Beginning of creation, the First and the Last Creation of
God, the Almighty One—"of whom, by whom and through whom are all things."
All honor, majesty and worship belong primarily to the great Father of lights; and to Him Jesus directed the attention of His followers, saying, "After this manner pray ye—Our Father which art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name." It is always therefore eminently proper in the highest sense of the word that our petitions should ascend to "the Father of Lights, from whom cometh every good and every perfect gift."
It has pleased the Father to so honor His First Begotten Son, and to so reward His faithfulness unto death, and to so make Him the Head in all things over the Church which is His Body, that it is eminently proper that, in the language of the Master, "All men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father." (
.) They should not honor the Son instead of the Father, however; for the Latter declares, "My glory will I not give to another." The exalted Christ is to be honored, yea, worshiped, because the Father has highly exalted Him.
Moreover, there is a special reason why all who recognize Jesus as the world’s Redeemer should recognize the propriety of including Him with the Father in their thoughts and in their prayers. This is because, by Divine appointment, He is the Church’s Advocate with the Father—the One through whom we are acceptable to God.
And so with the world in the future, throughout Messiah’s Reign, this will be equally proper; for then He will be the world’s Mediator, standing between God and men, until by His Mediatorial Kingdom He shall have lifted mankind from sin and degradation and death, back to actual justification and harmony with God.