Fred R. Coulter—March 23, 1991


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John proves that Jesus was God before His human birth. And as we have seen previously, Jesus did not reveal Himself all at once. It was progressive. And then the Spirit of God was to lead them into the understanding of to Who and what Jesus really was.

So let's begin in Matthew 13:16—and we'll get to the book of John in a little bit—because this is so important for us to know. Today we are going to cover the very profound Scriptures, which absolutely prove that Jesus was God, was in heaven before He became a human being, came down from heaven, lived His life as a human being and then, after He died and was resurrected, ascended back to the Father in heaven. We're going to see the proof of that from Scripture.

Matthew 13:16: "But blessed are your eyes, because they see… [Now the things that we're going to understand concerning Who is Jesus; and the things that we're going to understand from Scripture—as we've seen previously—come because of the Spirit of God to lead us into the understanding of God's Word.] …But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear…. [How much of a blessing is this?] …For truly… [Jesus is saying to His disciples] …I say to you, many prophets and righteous men…" (vs 16-17). Now, you have Job and Daniel and Noah—the three most righteous men in the Bible. They never knew, they never understood. They only vaguely contemplated the Messiah Jesus Christ. They didn't see. Many wanted to know. Remember Daniel when he was writing the conclusion of the book and the angel came to him, and he asked the angel, he said, "How long shall these things be?" And Daniel was told to close the book "for it sealed until the time of the end." So here all the righteousness of Daniel did not bring him understanding of God's plan.

"…many prophets and righteous men have desired to see what you see, and have not seen; and to hear what you hear, and have not heard" (v 17). Now, this is especially true for the apostles at that time, because not only did they physically live with Jesus,

  • they saw His works;
  • they saw His miracles;
  • they heard His teachings.

And this blessing that they received comes down to us in the form of the New Testament.

And as we've covered in the past, the New Testament is superior to the Old Testament. The Old Testament is the foundation, but the New Testament is the entire building. A prophecy is not as substantial or real as the reality. A prophecy of Christ is not as great as the reality of Christ being there. So what He taught us in the New Testament is really tremendously profound.

Now, let's go to 1-Peter, the first chapter, and let's see some more about these tremendous things that God is teaching us through His Word, and what the Apostle Peter wrote to those in 1-Peter, the first chapter. Now, I'd love to spend the time to go through the whole first chapter because that covers an awful lot, but we just want to pick out the things that are important and pertinent leading up to going into the book of John to prove that John proves that Jesus was God before He became human.

1-Peter 1:7: "In order that the proving of your faith, which is much more precious than gold that perishes… [now that's how God looks upon conversion, growth in grace and knowledge, belief and love of God] (it is): …more precious than gold that perishes, though it is being tested by fire, may be found unto praise and honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ; Whom, not having seen, you love… [Now, we have a little bit different faith and belief than the apostles who saw Him. Just like it was told to Thomas after he said, 'Well, I'm not going to believe that He was raised from the dead until I see Him.' Jesus said, 'Blessed are those who believe, Thomas, and have not seen.' So we haven't seen Jesus. We only see Him in the mind's eye, through the words of the Holy Scripture in the New Testament, which has been preserved for us.] …Whom, not having seen, you love; in Whom, though at the present time you do not see Him, you believe, and rejoice with unspeakable joy, and filled with glory; And are receiving the end of your faith—eventhe salvation of your souls" (vs 7-9)—which will come at the resurrection.

"Concerning which salvation the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you have diligently searched out and intently inquired… [So they were the instruments to prophesy, but they didn't understand it. They were the instruments to give God's Word in the Old Testament, but then, the reality of it, through the coming of Jesus Christ and what He did for us, they diligently searched, but they couldn't understand.] (Now, notice v 11): …Searching into what way and what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them was indicating…" (vs 10-11).

Now, let's stop right here and ask a question:

  • Were the prophets before Jesus Christ? Yes!
  • Did they prophesy by the Spirit of God—YAHWEH, Elohim? Yes!
  • What is that called in the New Testament? The Spirit of Christ!

So this, again, is a direct indication that Jesus Christ was God before He became human, otherwise, how could they have the Spirit of Christ in them when they were preaching and prophesying and writing and searching and trying to understand these things.

Now continuing in v 11: "…testifying beforehand of the sufferings of Christ, and these glories that would follow; to whom it was revealed that, not for themselves, but to us they were ministering these things, which now have been announced to you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit, sent from heaven—into which things the angels desire to look" (vs 11-12). Profound statement, isn't it? Tremendous statements! Even angels desire to understand what we understand. Now, exactly how to explain that whole thing, I don't know! But one of these days, at the resurrection when we see the angels, we'll ask them: How is that we understood and you didn't?

All right, let's continue on. Let's go to the book of John and let's just review two things very quickly, here. John 20—let's just review this so we get our bearings and we know exactly where we're going. And this is the ending of the book of John. So this we can have a greater depth of understanding when we go back and read some of the things in John that we're going to, if we keep this in mind.

John 20:30: "Now then, Jesus did many other miracles in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book…. [And of course, everyone wants to know: what were they? Well, we don't know! But that's going to give us a lot of conversational topic at the resurrection—isn't it? Who knows, maybe even God has this all preserved for us on what we could call today, in today's terminology, spiritual video cassettes. So then we can pop them in whatever the machine is and understand exactly what went on—and then we'll know!] …But these have been written [in the book of John], so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing, you may have life through His name" (vs 30-31).

Now that becomes very important! Let's go to then next to the last verse in chapter 21. I know we've gone over this, but I just want to cover it so we get our bearings and understand where we're headed in the book of John.

John 21:24: "This is the disciple who testifies concerning these things and who wrote these things… [So John is the one who wrote the Gospel of John. He testifies. He verifies. And we'll see in just a little bit, why his Gospel is so different than Matthew, Mark and Luke. And why we cannot have the full understanding of the Gospels without the Gospel of John.] …and we know… [which we learned some time ago was those elders that were with John] …that his testimony is true. But there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I do not suppose that even the world itself could contain the books that would be written. Amen" (vs 24-25). What a way to end a Gospel. What a way to end the book explaining about Jesus Christ.

Now, let's learn two other key principle things. Let's go to John 6:63. We're going to come back to John 6 a little later in our survey of things that prove that Jesus was God before He became a human being. "It is the Spirit that gives life… [That's why it's important that you have the Spirit of God; because if you don't have the Spirit of God in you, through Jesus Christ, you have no life in you. And of course, we covered how you receive the Holy Spirit of God. So he's reiterating here.] …the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life."

So, let's ask the question: If we don't have the Gospel of John, do we have the saving words of life? No! And we'll see why in just a little bit. Let's come down here to v 68—after some of the disciples left and didn't come back, "Then Simon Peter answered Him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed and have known that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God'" (vs 68-69). That's the whole purpose of the book of John—

  • to show Who Jesus was,
  • what Jesus was,
  • what He did,

the important parts of the spiritual Gospel of John.

Now, as I did one time before, I'm going to cover parts in a book called The Original Bible Restored by Ernest Martin. Let's begin on page 267—I'm going to read several sections in here to review in a way, but also to bring us to the understanding that we need to have, as to how important the Gospel of John was. Let me just summarize a couple of things: Paul and Peter canonized the New Testament all the way up to the writings of John. Peter and Paul died about 68 A.D., maybe sometime a little before that. But from 67-68 A.D. there was nothing new written that was added to the New Testament. So we come clear down to the end of the life of John, when he was very old. And here we find something very important concerning the Gospel of John—and it's under the section on page 267, The Importance of John's Elders (as we covered before), the 'we' sections within 1-John and the Gospel of John.

There is another historical reference to the elders who helped John write his Gospel and his three epistles. It is what we today call the Muratorian Canon —after L.A. Muratori, who discovered the document in A.D. 1740. This is an account of some of the books of the New Testament came to be. Though it was written in barbarous Latin, and scholars have argued about the intricate value for years, there's some interesting matters mentioned by the document that refer to the "we" passages of the Apostle John's writing. And because it can be dated very early—at about 180 A.D.—it provides a reasonable witness of what people believed about the origin of the Gospel of John and other books in the last part of the second century. It will pay us to quote an extensive part of the Muratorian Canon. In this section we will transcribe the main topic as was the Gospel of John.

[quote]: The fourth Gospel is by John, one of the disciples. When his fellow disciples and overseers of the church exhorted him, he said, "Today, fast with me for three days; and let us recount to each other whatever may be revealed to each of us." That same night it was revealed to Andrew, one of the apostles, that John should write down all things in John's name as they all recalled them to mind [or could certify to John].

So although various points are taught, in several books of the Gospels, yet it makes no difference to the faith of the believer, since all things in them are declared by one supreme Spirit concerning Christ's nativity, His suffering, His resurrection, His talking with His disciples, His double advent… [that is the two separate appearances that He made to the disciples] …the first in despised lowliness, which was taken place; the second in glorious power as the power of a king—which is yet to come. What wonder then if John so boldly presents each point saying of himself in his epistle. "What we have seen with our eyes and heard with our ears, and our hands have handled, these things have we written." For so he swears as a witness, not only one who saw Christ and a hero of Him, but he was also a writer of all the wonderful works of the Lord in order.

Then Dr. Martin writes:

Can there be any doubt that the writer of the early work believe that the Gospel of John, though written under the name of the beloved disciple John, was really a cooperative effort in which several of the apostles took part? And in effect, this is exactly what the "we" sections of the Gospel of John and John's epistles demand. This makes the elders of John take on an importance that many people have not realized. It indicates that John became the writer for the remaining witnesses of Christ who were still alive at the end of the first century. John's circle of friends included some of the most illustrious luminaries who accompanied Christ in His preaching tours of Galilee and Judea. These elders of John are also mentioned by Clement of Alexandria, where he discusses the method that John used in writing his Gospel.

But last of all, John perceiving the observable facts had been made plain in the Gospel—those being formally written—being urged by his friends and inspired by the Spirit, composed a spiritual Gospel.

Now that is why the Gospel of John is entirely different. Now, let's go to John 14:26—and see how we are told right here a very important thing as to what the Holy Spirit would do for us; would do for John: "But when the Comforter comes, even the Holy Spirit, which the Father will send in My name, that one shall teach you all things, and shall bring to your remembrance everything that I have told you." So when they fasted for those three days and came together and began discussing what they needed to put in this Gospel, the Holy Spirit verified, was with them—and that's why the Gospel of John  is:

  • so powerful
  • so spiritual
  • so different

—because then they covered all of the topics which were absolutely necessary to show who and what Jesus was before His human birth.

Now, let's go to John 16:12—again, it talks about the Holy Spirit; gives us the why Jesus said this: "I have yet many things to tell you… [because He had to reveal it by His Holy Spirit. He had to come a present Himself to them after His resurrection, and teach them things.] …I have yet many things to tell you but you are not able to bear them now…. [This has a profound significance as to why Jesus did not say, 'I am God in the flesh.' When we get to John 6—when we go through our survey in discovering these key, important verses, then we'll understand why He couldn't say that, though He was. They couldn't bear it. They had to have that revealed. They had to grow in the grace and the knowledge and the will of God the Father and Jesus Christ.] (v 13—here is how Jesus is going to do it): …However, when that one has come, even the Spirit of the truth, it will lead you into all truth…"

Now, we're going to see how that—and you can do this for a survey on your own; and I just imagine that you can study the book of John over and over and over and over again and still glean and learn more out of it every time. But you will see how many times he talks about

  • the Truth,
  • the Spirit of Truth;
  • Jesus Christ Who was the Truth,
  • Who was the way.

So the Holy Spirit is the one which would reveal it. "…because it shall not speak from itself, but whatever it shall hear, it shall speak. And it shall disclose to you the things to come. That one shall glorify Me…" (vs 13-14). It's going to show the full glory of Christ. The full glory of Christ is not found in Matthew, Mark, Luke; is not found in the Acts; or is not found in the Epistles of James and 1-Peter—but it is in 1, 2 & 3 John, and the Gospel of John and the book of Revelation. It's not found in all the Epistles of Paul The full glory, the full meaning, is not found until John finishes the New Testament.

Now, let me continue on in the book here by Ernest Martin—so it talks about that and especially concerning the witnesses. There's one section that I especially want to read, which tells us about the things that are important. On page 270 it talks about the works that were already circulating in the time of John. Let's go to Luke 1:1. Now, the reason that we have the writings that we have—condensed and complied in the way that we have—is because there were many accounts as to what was done and said by Jesus and about His life. There were many people writing different things. None of them have come to us, but the New Testament. And that becomes important because that shows the hand of God and the Holy Spirit in preserving the New Testament for us, and how then God inspired the apostles to finish and write and then be completed by the Apostle John, the whole New Testament.

Luke 1:1: "Since many have taken in hand to compile a written narration of the matters which have been fully believed among us, as they delivered them to us, those who from the beginning had been eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word, it seemed good to me also, having accurately understood everything from the very first, to write these things in an orderly sequence to you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you might know the absolute certainty of the things in which you have been instructed" (vs 1-4). So Luke took many of the writings of the different apostles and the different eye-witnesses, put those together in the different accounts, and so we have the Gospel by Luke. So each one is unique.

So when we come to the time of the Apostle John then he is going to finish the Gospels with the knowledge that was missing. It says:

John, even in his old age, felt that it was incumbent upon him to clear the air with the Truth. He thus asked the witnesses of Christ's earthly life, who were still living, to cooperate with him to produce the final Gospel. This was accomplished just before John's death, about the time he wrote the book of Revelation. It is for this reason… [now listen carefully to this] …that many features of the Gospel of John… [that is different from Matthew, Mark and Luke] …can be satisfactorily explained. This is why he could record the incidents of Lazarus being resurrected from the dead, while the other three Gospel accounts do not wish to mention it.

Why? Because the Jews wanted to also to kill Lazarus. So wherever Lazarus was, Lazarus was a target of assassination by the Jews who hated the New Testament Church. So they didn't want to expose it to them. But now that Lazarus had died, now John could write about that account.

Since Lazarus was now dead, this would prevent any harassment from his admirers or his foes. John could tell his story in detail. But John left out things, too. There's no mention of Christ's prophecies about the destruction of Jerusalem, to which the other three Gospels paid considerable attention.

Why? Because Jerusalem was already destroyed; not completely, but the Jews were removed by the time he wrote.

It would have been unwise to mention the matters that had already taken place and record them as future prophecies. And after all, the Olivet Prophecies had already been adequately covered by the other three Gospel writers before the destruction of Jerusalem. John was simply giving a summary of the doctrinal and spiritual matters taught by Christ, that the other apostles had left out or did not feel necessary to record, or we could add here: were not inspired of the Holy Spirit at that time to write them.

Now, that's all I'm going to cover in this book. I am going to make arrangements where we can get some for those who want them. So if you want them, go ahead and write me and let me know and we'll get some and forward them to you. As far as I know, they will cost approximately $15.

Now, let's go to John, the first chapter, and let's begin here because this becomes very important. Now, in the English, in the first part of John, there is substantially no difference in the meaning of the words, the tense of the words, or the meaning of the tense of the tenses—they're all virtually identical. Now, I'm going to read along in my Interlinear because I have certain things marked in here which I don't in my regular King James Bible.

So let's begin here and then I'm going to cover certain basic elements, which are used by John in writing, especially the first eighteen verses. The first eighteen verses of the opening of the Gospel of John are by far the most emphatic and important and revealing parts of the Gospel of John. There are several others when we get to chapter five, chapter six, chapter seventeen especially. And we're going to see that these things tell us—they answer the questions—who, what, when, where and why.

John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word…" And 'the Word' in Greek is pronounced 'ho Logos'—now it is true 'ho-logos' could just be a message; 'ho-logos' could just be a saying IF one sentence in John were not there. Then perhaps those who claim that the word 'ho-logos' was synonymous to the wisdom of Prov. 8, 'he-sophia' being one and the same, that possibly could be construed as true. But John is making it absolutely clear for us. So He's saying: "In the beginning…"—when. And that tells us when, "in the beginning." As human beings we need that. As I covered last time, we're finite creatures. We need time, we run by numbers and the whole thing. We're so tall, we weigh so much, we live so long, etc. We come into the world at a certain point. Now God, on the other hand, does not need to have time. That's why it said that with God 'a day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as a day.'

But, "In the beginning was the Word… [The Word was already there at the beginning.] …and the Word was with God… [So we have God, as we've seen, God the Father who not revealed until Jesus came—adequately proved that, we won't go back over that.] …and the Word was God." Now, without this little short phrase—"and the Word was God"—we wouldn't know Who the Word was, except an idea. But it says very clearly: "…and the Word was God"—'theos'; that's what the Word was.

  • When was the Word God? In the beginning!
  • Where was the Word Who was God? With God!
  • Does that not tell us that there are two who are called God? Yes!

Now, let's go on—v 2: "He was in the beginning with God…. [So then it's stated again.] …He was in the beginning with God [and] all things came into being through Him…" The one Who was the Word, Who was God, Who was with God, in the beginning, was the active creating agent, to do all the creating. Now, we'll see that.

"All things came into being through Him, and not even one thing that was created came into being without Him" (v 3). Now, that's a whole tremendous first three verses that are absolutely meaningful as to Who was Jesus. So if Jesus was God—which it says here—the Word, and if the Word was God, and if the Word was with God—which shows there are two Who are called 'God'—and everything that was made came into being through Him. And, as we saw last time in Heb. 1, that He created everything—visible and invisible.

So God the Father apparently delegated all of that to Jesus Christ, the one Who became Jesus Christ, called 'Logos" here—the Word, the Spokesman, Who created everything.

Now, let's go to v 14—very important, and we'll cover this in great detail next time. "And the Word became flesh…" And that is tremendous in understanding. He didn't come just in the appearance of flesh, but was really not flesh. He was MADE flesh. He took upon Himself flesh. And there is a reason for that.

I want to cover just a few basic things concerning the structure of the Greek, which is also, in this case, the exact same structure as the English. Now, I'm going to read to you from a Manual of Grammar of Greek New Testament by Dana & Mantey, on page 62. Now, one of the reasons people have a hard time understanding about language is because, frankly, it's not taught in school. And I know when I was going to school they didn't teach me these things. And when they tried to teach it, they made it so complicated that, frankly, I had no interest in it, and I became an English-Grammar illiterate—completely. And I won't get into all the details as to how hard I had to work later on to make up for that deficiency. But here is something very basic, and this would help those if they would go back and really understand what is being said. This is being confirmed in the Greek.

On page 62 it explains about a noun—one of the very first basic, fundamental things we need to learn.

A noun is a vocal sound by which one designates a fact of consciousness, which then can be written down.

What is the noun here in this case? Ho-Logos, the Word—a fact of consciousness. A fact of reality.

Okay, now let's look at the verb?

The verb is a vocal sound by which one makes an assertion relative to a fact of consciousness.

So it says the verb here is 'was'—and that tells us something about 'Logos"—'ho-Logos" was. Was what? Was God; was in the beginning.

Okay, let's build a little bit more upon this. On page 154 it says:

The verb is that part of the sentence which affirms action or a state of being.

Now, let's go back and read that again: "In the beginning was the Word…" It affirms a state of being. The word was existing when? In the beginning. Not created in Mary's womb. In the beginning! 'In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth'—Elohim.

All right, then we have another statement of fact: "…and the Word [ho-Logos] …was with God…" That is a dogmatic statement of fact. "…and the Word was God." So that's exactly what the verb does.

The nature of the verb represents two varieties…

—and we're not going to get into all the detail there. Now let me turn to page 166 and we'll cover a little bit more concerning the verb. There is what is called the indicative mode. When I was going to high school I completely turned off, my eyes crossed, my eyelids shut, my ears stopped and I said, 'get me out of this room' when I heard something like this. Now, it is fantastic, because it really tells you how then this is written so we can think properly. And isn't that what the Holy Spirit wants us to do? Yes! All right, the indicative mode:

the indicative is the declarative mood denoting a simple assertion.

It's what it's saying. "In the beginning was the Word…"—is that not a simple assertion? Yes. "…and the Word was with God…"—a simple assertion? Yes! "….and the Word was God." As a matter of fact, it uses that very same example here under what is called the declarative indicated. In other words, what is being told is declared. It's not a question. It's not a thought. It is an absolute, dogmatic, simple statement. So it says,

It's basil significance is most clearly seen when the indicative is used in the statement of a simple fact.

And then it quotes here: "en arche ho Logos" which is "In the beginning was the Word."

Let's go to page 176, and it talks about the tense of the verb. Now, we have the overall verb 'to be' in English. The verb 'to be' is the infinitive. What was the whole question in the play of Shakespeare? "To be or not to be? That is the question." And really, that's what people are asking of Jesus: to be or not to be? That is the question. Who is He? Well, if you understood a little bit of the basic fundamentals of grammar, you would know.

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All right, tense:

No element of the Greek language is of more importance to the student of the New Testament than the matter of tense. A variation in meaning, exhibited by the use of the particular tense will often dissolve what appears to be an embarrassing difficulty or reveal a gleam of truth, which will thrill the heart with delight and inspiration.

And since I've been studying Greek now for about the past ten years, it does do that. You become absolutely thrilled because God inspired it in Greek. And when you understand it in Greek, and when it's properly translated in English, it just absolutely sets your mind on fire as to how true the Truth is; and how profound it is.

The development of the tense in Greek has reached its highest in Greek and presents the greatest wealth of meaning among all the known ancient languages, none distinguished the manifold temporal and module relations of the verb so accurately as does the Greek.
And we will see that this is very important.

Now let's pick this up again, and I want to read from the Greek grammar book on page 178, which talks about the important element of the tense in Greek. Because when we're dealing with the word 'was' in English, that in the Greek is called 'eim' which is a particular tense of the word tobe—'eimi.' Now, in English, to be; then you have I am, he is, they are, you are, we are. So the word changes with the use. Likewise, so it does in the Greek. This is a fundamental significance.

The chief function of a Greek tense is thus not to denote time, but progress or action or a state of being.

Now, there's what is called the imperfect past tense. Now I know it sounds a little complicated, but I hope I can explain it to you. Imperfect past tense means this: that it was an action or state of being or condition that had been continuously going on in the past. Now, let me read it to you here:

The imperfect may be regarded as sort of an auxiliary to the present tense, functioning for it in the indicative. [That means a dogmatic, simple statement of fact] …to refer its significance of continuous action in the past time.

Now that applies right here to the Gospel of John, these first three verses. "In the beginning was the Word…"—continuous action from the beginning, existence, the Word was. It's imperfect active indicative. "…was the Word" and the Word was continuously "with God." Now, here's the real catcher on this: "…and the Word" continuously "was God."

Now there is no way to reason around these Scriptures to try and say that Jesus did not exist except in the foreknowledge and thought of God, except as a spiritual ethereal idea of God until He was created in the womb of Mary. That's why the Apostle John [transcriber's correction] wrote this. Don't you think that if we can think of that thing today, that it was not thought of then? Don't you think that the reason the Apostle John wrote the beginning of his Gospel this way was to dispel all of the arguments as Luke said many had undertaken to write about it—many ideas, many fables, many stories, many counter-evangelists sent out by the Jews to try and destroy Christianity. So that's why John wrote it this way: to establish, right at the first, the most important profound thing we need to know about the one Who became Jesus Christ was that He existed, He was in existence continuously in the beginning.

Now it doesn't tell us about time beyond that, because our minds cannot comprehend it. So this becomes very important. "In the beginning was the Word… [continuously existing] …and the Word was with God… [continuously existing with God] …and the Word was God…. [continuously existing as God. Answering: who, what, when, where, and why.] (and v 2): …He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and not even one thing that was created came into being without Him. In Him was life… [that is, He had life inherent. He had eternal life. That's why the Apostle Paul wrote that Jesus Christ, "Who being living, existing, in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but emptied Himself"—de-voided Himself of His Divinity.

And we're going to learn next time what a tremendous love that is that God has for us, that God would do that. That God would give up being God to save us, to save you, to forgive your sins. Because you see, as being God—God being eternal—cannot die. But if God—because nothing is impossible for God—has Himself made flesh, then He can die if He takes upon Him the same kind of flesh that we as human beings have.

So that's why it says in v 14: "And the Word became flesh…" The Word came into being as flesh. Who was before as God. So there is absolutely, conclusive, dogmatic, powerful, declarative force in the way that it's written that God became flesh! No other way around it. There is no other way to understand these Scriptures.

Now, let's go on and we'll finish this section here: "…and tabernacled among us (and we ourselves beheld His glory… [that is all the disciples and those elders that were with John] …the glory as of the only begotten with the Father), full of grace and truth." And the whole life and the ministry of Christ absolutely changed everything; and absolutely turned the world upside-down in relationship to the religion that the Jews had.

"John testified concerning Him, and proclaimed, saying, 'This was He of Whom I said, "He Who comes after me has precedence over me because He was before me"'" (v 15). And the indication is here He existed before John did. So this dogmatically and absolutely proves one fact that's very important: John the Baptist was begotten by his father three months before Mary was begotten by God the Father with the one Who became Jesus Christ. So, if Jesus did not exist until He was created in the womb of Mary, John could not have said this, that "He existed before me." Because John, in fact, in the flesh existed three months before Jesus was begotten. So, do you understand that? This proves conclusively that if the one Who was "Logos" was made flesh, was before John and John said "He was before me," and John was three months older than Jesus [transcriber's correction] was. The only way that could be was that Jesus had to exist as God before He became a human being.

Now you see, rather than following along with what was said, that there's not a hint in the Bible that He was God before He became human; and of course, it's very conspicuous how these Scriptures then are avoided or watered-down or turned away or spiritualized away as not what was being written here. This is why John wrote this; so that we would know.

All right, now let's continue on, because it says: "He was"—remember, the imperfect indicative. An action, a state of existence or being in a continuous time in the past, which was before the existence of John.

Now, v 16: "And of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace…. [Now, here's to tell you how much better the New Testament is than the Old; how much better the ministry of Jesus Christ is than the Old or the religion of Moses; and of course, when you understand that the Jews look upon Jesus as the greatest fraud, the greatest slander, the greatest blaspheme that has ever occurred in their mind, John writes]: …For the law was given through Moses, butthe grace and the truth came through Jesus Christ" (vs 16-17). Now, we're going to see that that is really profound, because in another place it says: 'the law and the prophets were until John' and since that time the Kingdom of God is preached showing that the preaching of the Kingdom of God about Jesus Christ and salvation is far superior to anything in the Old Testament.

Now, that's not to do away with the commandments of God. We're not going to do like the Protestants and throw that away and say now that we don't have to keep any of the laws or commandments of God—but to understand the magnitude of importance.

Now, v 18: "No one has seen God at any time… [This is important because it's right after talking about Moses. And didn't Moses see God? Yes! But not God, Who in the New Testament is called 'The Father.' No one has seen God the Father at any time!] …the only begotten Son, Who is in the bosom of the Father… [at the time this was written] …He has declared Him."

Now, these are such powerful verses that I feel totally inadequate in one, two or three or maybe even four sermons to bring to you the power and the import and the spiritual meaning of these verses. Now, I'm sure we're not going to leave it rest at that, but in order to continue on with the lesson then we have to go through the other parts of the book of John to show us the other strong statements that Jesus was God before He became a human being.

Let's go to John, third chapter. I've covered some of these other things before. John 3:13—this is a key verse. And my next sermon is going to begin with John 3:16, that we may understand that and build upon our understanding and knowledge of God and the forgiveness of sin and what God personally did for every human being.

Now right in the middle of the conversation that is recorded between Nicodemus and Jesus, we have this verse—John 3:13: "And no one has ascended into heaven… [No one! So that means that Enoch is not there, Elijah is not there, and as Peter said in the Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost, that 'David has not ascended into the heavens but is dead and buried and his sepulcher remains with us until this day.' So no one…when did John write this? When did John write this? That becomes very important! Probably not much before 95 A.D., so this is a profound statement. Jesus did not say this! So if you have a red-letter edition of the Bible, this is not what Jesus said. This was written by John parenthetically put into that portion of what we call John 3.] …And no one has ascended into heaven except He Who came down from heaven, even the Son of man, Who is… [now at the time of this writing] …in heaven." So this tells us that the one Who was the Logos—Who became flesh—came down from heaven; had His full ministry; was offered up as a perfect sacrifice and ascended back up into heaven (Acts 1) and is there at the right hand of God now.

Let's go to v 31—here is what John is saying concerning Jesus. Would John know something about Jesus? Do you think that, in being taught by God, that John would know something about Jesus? Absolutely! He says: "He Who comes from above is above all…. [Who is the one Who came from above? Jesus! He came from above.] …The one who is of the earth is earthy, and speaks of the earth. He Who comes from heaven is above all… [and speaks of those things above all—we could add there.] …And what He has seen and heard, this is what He testifies; but no one receives His testimony… [that is no one of you Jewish religious leaders.] …The one who has received His testimony has set his seal that God is true; for He Whom God has sent speaks the words of God…" (vs 31-34).

This, brethren, is also a test for today. Out of all the myriad ministers, who claim to be ministers of God, who claim to be part of a Church of God, or the Church of God, how do you know that they are truly of God—because there are satanic moles that get into different organizations, who claim that they are of God, but they don't speak the words of God. In other words, they don't speak what is in the Bible. And the Bible says if they 'speak not according to this Word it is because there is no light in them.' In other words, they don't have the Spirit of God. So you, I, we—through Jesus Christ and His Spirit—have to really understand what is being said and go by the Word of God so that we realize that by the words of God, those that God sends, you can know that they are of God.

Now, let's go to John 5. Chapter five is one of the most incredible chapters that there is. Here we find very clearly the Father being revealed. We find that the Jews wanted to kill Him just because He said He was the Son of God. And He said it very clearly in John 10. He said, 'Why are you going to stone Me, for which good work?' They said, 'We're not stoning you for a good work but because you being a man make yourself equal to God.' And He said, 'You're going to stone me because I have said I am the Son of God.' And that's what they wanted to do here in John 5:17:

"But Jesus answered them, 'My Father is working until now, and I work.' So then, on account of this saying, the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, not only because He had loosed the Sabbath… [which is a complete misunderstanding of what the Sabbath and breaking the Sabbath means. This means that He loosed one of the rigid, traditional, self-made laws of the Jews about not carrying something on the Sabbath. He didn't break the Sabbath in God's eyes. He loosed it from all the rigmarole that the Jews added on it.] …but also because He had called God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. Therefore, Jesus answered and said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, the Son…" (vs 17-19).

Now, I want you to go ahead and what I've done is this: I've circled the word 'Father' and I've squared off the word 'the Son'—so if you want to do that, you can do that; because you're going to be surprised the number of times that it's mentioned in the next few verses.

"…the Son has no power to do anything of Himself, but only what He sees the Father do. For whatever He does, these things the Son also does in the same manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him everything that He Himself is doing. And He will show Him greater works than these, so that you may be filled with wonder. For even as the Father raises the dead and gives life, in the same way also, the Son gives life to whom He will. For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son So that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. The one who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father Who sent Him" (vs 19-23).

Ooooo, these words are so strong to those Jews. He is telling them, very clearly…and a little later He says, 'I know that you don't even have the love of God in you.' This is a powerful chapter to show Who Jesus was.

Now, what becomes important, when we get down here we'll see this in just a minute. Let's continue on in v 24: "Truly, truly I say to you, the one who hears My word, and believes Him Who sent Me, has everlasting life and does not come into judgment; for he has passed from death into life. Truly, truly I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear shall live. For even as the Father has life in Himself, so also has He given to the Son to have life in Himself; and has also given Him authority to execute judgment because He is the Son of man" (vs 24-27).

Now next time I'm going to have an awful lot more to say about the human nature of Jesus. So

  • He is the Son of God.
  • He is the Son of man.

Had to be in order for God to become flesh, a human being, and then live and die and be resurrected from the dead. And there's a tremendous amount of understanding and wisdom and knowledge in that. We've covered the last part of John 5, so we'll end chapter five at this point.

Let's go to John 6:61—and here is a tremendous verse; absolutely tremendous verse. And I want you to go back and study all the rest of chapter six. I'm going to hit some verses in highlight. "But Jesus, knowing that His disciples were complaining about this… [to eat My flesh and drink My blood] …said to them, 'Does this offend you?…. [got offended a lot! Some of them left and never came back. The ones who said, 'Oh, Lord, I want to follow You.' Remember the one who said, 'Lord, I will follow You wherever You go. But first I got to go back and take care of my father.' And Jesus said, 'Foxes have holes….' and so forth. So Jesus asked this question]: …What if you shall see the Son of man [Jesus] ascending up where He was before?'" (vs 61-62). Now, that's a very key statement. Because in the Greek it means where He was in the before—and it is with the definite article; and a definite article in the Greek gives it a real profound emphasis—which means where He was in the time before He became the Son of man.

Now when you understand this: "What if you shall see the Son of man [Jesus] ascending up where He was before?"—and of course, the disciples did see this, as recorded in Acts 1, after He was resurrected. Now, you go back through and you read the rest of it where He says, 'I am the bread of life, which came down out of heaven.'

John 6:33: "'For the bread of God is He Who comes down from heaven… [You see! He came down out of heaven, but He had to come down as that little impregnation of life, to be impregnated in the womb of Mary, a virgin; and God gave up all life except that, and came down out of heaven. So it was God Who came down out of heaven. That's why He said, 'What if you see Him ascend back up into heaven?'] …and gives life to the world.' Therefore, they said to Him, 'Lord, give this bread to us always.' Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life; the one who comes to Me shall never hunger; and the one who believes in Me shall never thirst at any time'" (vs 33-35).

Now that's all in the theme concerning the Passover, which we'll cover somewhat next time. Let's go to John 7—there are not too many places in chapter seven; there are some which are significant. Let me just mention the verses so you can write them down and go back and study them: John 7:28-29; 33-34; 40-42. Now, there are several places in John, the eighth chapter, that are important. So I will mention those, too, and we will go to one place in John, the eighth chapter: John 8:12-15; 19; 21-24; 25-29.

Now, I want to come clear down to John 8:54—after they accused Jesus of just witnessing for Himself: "Jesus answered, 'If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing…. [We're going to see that Jesus counted the flesh as nothing; because compared to being God, it is nothing, really!] …It is My Father Who glorifies Me, of Whom you say that He is your God. Yet you have not known Him; but I know Him…. [Now, that's really strong to tell the Jews you haven't known the Father. Like they say down south: 'them's fightin' words!'] …And if I say that I do not know Him, I shall be a liar, like you. But I know Him, and I keep His Word…. [Now, v 56 is a key, important verse]: …Abraham your father was overjoyed to see My day; and he saw it, and rejoiced'" (vs 54-56).

And of course, the Jews didn't understand that, so they said to Him: "'You are not even fifty years old, and You have seen Abraham?' Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, before… [Now, in the Greek the word before is 'prin' which means in a time before. It is talking about in a time before Abraham. And of course, in Anthony Buzzard's booklet, he says that 'ego-eimi' only means I am He. In some cases that's what it may mean, but in this case He's talking about in a time before Abraham was—existed.] …Abraham was born, I AM'" (vs 57-58). It's literally saying, "I existed." And that's what "I AM" means in this particular sense in relationship to the sentence; in relationship to the phrase 'prin' or before.

Now, there are some things in chapter nine. We've covered the things in chapter ten. We also covered them in chapter nine, where the man who was born blind, and after he realized it was Jesus Who healed him, worshiped Jesus. And we covered a couple of times ago that even the angels wouldn't allow a man to worship them. So the worshiping of Jesus is also a strong indication that He was God. Otherwise, why worship Him as God.

Now, let's come all the way…we will leave some of the other things; I'll let you go through and see some of the indications here concerning the powers of Jesus and what He did: Chapters 11-14. Let's come all the way to John 17, because chapter seventeen is the most important for us to cover at this time. And again, we have a verse that conclusively proves that Jesus was God, in radiant glory, before He became a human being in the flesh.

Now this is the prayer of Jesus. And Anthony Buzzard, in his booklet, makes great light of one sentence here about where Jesus talks about the Father as the only true God, and then he lightly covers verse five. Well, we're not going to lightly cover verse five. We're going to heavily cover both of those verses so we understand them completely.

John 17:1: "Jesus spoke these words, and lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, 'Father, the hour has come; glorify Your own Son, so that Your Son may also glorify You; since You have given Him authority over all flesh… [that is all who have ever lived—all flesh—Jesus has authority over all humanity, whether they are in the grave, or whether they are currently alive, or whether they are yet to be born. Over all flesh! And the reason He has is because He was God Who became a human being and took upon Him human nature, so therefore, being perfect, and having never sinned, He has authority over ALL flesh.] …in order that He may give eternal life to all whom You have given Him. For this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God…'" (vs 1-3). Now, that's a real tough statement there—isn't it? The only true God! So it is claimed then, that there was only ONE God. Well, at the time Jesus was praying, that was a true statement. The only one at the time of Jesus' prayer who was truly, truly God—as God is God—is the Father. Jesus had been God, but in human flesh He was not truly God—was He? Though He was the Son of God/the Son of man. And He carried human nature in Him.

So therefore, He says: "'that they may know You, [Holy Father] the only true God and Jesus Christ, Whom You did send. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work that You gave Me to do. And now, Father…'" (vs 4-5)—very key verse. In fact, when you tie this together with John 1; 6:62; 17:5—if these were the only Scriptures, which conclusively conclude that Jesus was God before He was a human being, that is more than sufficient to prove what the Bible is teaching us. And because John wrote so specifically, and so powerfully, and so spiritually; and recorded, for us, this prayer of Jesus, this is most profound! Now, I know I've worn out the word 'profound.' But I have no other way of expressing it.

Verse 5: "'And now, Father glorify Me with Your own self, with the glory that I had with You before the world existed.'" And it is 'the world was'—the present infinitive, which is used 'before the world was' as it is now. So if Jesus was not God before He became a human being, how is it that He asks for the glory that He had WITH the Father BEFORE the world existed? He had to have been God. That's why He starts out in John 1, 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.'

  • Does God have glory? Yes!
  • Did Jesus have glory before He emptied Himself, de-voided Himself, and gave up all of that glory? Yes, He had to leave that—in a sense—with the Father.

So before He's going to be crucified, and in His prayer He says: "'And now, Father glorify Me with Your own self, with the glory that I had with You before the world existed.'" Now, nothing could be more clear than that. Absolutely nothing could be more clear than that!

Now, one other thing we need to cover in John 17:14. "I have given them Your words, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world… [Once God calls us and calls us out of the world, we're no longer part and parcel with the world. And so, we have this tremendous struggle and fight going on, because of the Spirit of God in us warring and fighting against the law of sin and death in us, and warring and fighting against the world around us.] (He said): …just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You would take them out of the world… [There are times I wish that God would.] …but that You would keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in Your truth; Your Word is the truth" (vs 14-17). And that is the whole Gospel message. Jesus being full of grace and truth, giving that to us—that's what sanctifies us with the Spirit of God.

"Even as You did send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, so that they also may be sanctified in Your truth. I do not pray for these only, but also for those who shall believe in Me… [That's us! Jesus was praying for us. And He's praying for us right now at the right hand of God the Father in heaven above.] (v 21): …That they all may be one… [that is to become one] …even as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, in order that the world may believe that You did send Me" (vs 18-21).

So that's the whole purpose, that then we join God—through the process of salvation, conversion, death and the resurrection—to become ONE with God. And that's why the Apostle John wrote in 1-John 3 that "Behold, what manner of love that the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God—or the children of God." And then it says "the world doesn't know us, but we know that when we shall see Him, we shall see Him as He is, for we shall be like Him"—of the same kind.

So, that's the whole profound meaning of God being ONE—and in this case, then, we have a Godly definition as to what ONE GOD is. It is ONE GOD, which then includes the Father and later to include all of those who are in the first resurrection. That is the ONE GOD.

So let's go on here. "And I have given them the glory that You gave to Me, in order that they may be one, in the same way that We are one: I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected into one; and that the world may know that You did send Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that those whom You have given Me may also be with Me where I am, so that they may behold My glory, which You have given Me; because You did love Me before the foundation of the world" (vs 22-24).

Now, can anything be more clear? That Jesus was God; called the 'Logos' in the New Testament, Who was God; called Yahweh, Elohim, the Eternal God of the Old Testament; became a human being; de-voided Himself of all that was God so that He, in fulfilling the love of God, could die for all of our sins. But because He was perfect, the grave couldn't hold Him and He was resurrected to complete the plan of God.

So it's very clear that Jesus, before He was human, was God.

Scriptural References: All Scriptures, FV

  • Matthew 13:16-17
  • 1-Peter 1:7-12           
  • John 20:30-31
  • John 21:24-25
  • John 6:63, 68-69
  • John 14:26
  • John 16:12-14
  • Luke 1:1-4
  • John 1:1-3, 14-18
  • John 3:13, 31-34
  • John 5: 17-27
  • John 6:61-62, 33-35
  • John 8:54-58
  • John 17:1-5; 14-24

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Proverbs 8
  • Hebrew 1
  • Acts 1
  • John 10
  • John 7:28-29; 33-34; 40-42
  • John 8:12-15; 19; 21-24; 25-29
  • John 9-14
  • 1 John 3

Also referenced: Books

  • The Original Bible Restored by Ernest Martin
  • Manual of Grammar of Greek New Testament by Dana and Mantey

Transcribed: 1-15-09