Chapter 1: In the Beginning was the Word
SENIOR OVERSEER Ki-Dong Kim
‘In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things were made through Him,
and without Him nothing was made that was made.’
God is the Self-Existent One, and the Everlasting One (Exodus 3:14). All things in heaven and on earth were created by God, and God alone is the Self-Existent One. The first commandment out of the Ten Commandments is: “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3). This does not imply that other gods do not exist. There are many gods that exist in this world. However, they are merely created beings that were created by the Creator, who is God. The Self-Existent Being is God alone.
Abraham met Melchizedek, after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the other kings who were allied with him. At the time, he gave a tenth of his spoils to Melchizedek. Melchizedek was priest of the Most High God, and he is identified as the king of peace. Abraham had met Melchizedek while traveling on the road back from battle, and Abraham received blessings from Melchizedek through the tithe that he gave him. There is no further information about Melchizedek – where he came from, where he was going, when he was born, or when he disappeared. That is why the Bible indentifies him as the very model of the Eternal God (Hebrews 7:1-3).
God is the Eternal One. The Word is with God, and the Word is God. John 1:1 states: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’ God glorified Him with glory of God, and He was with God from the very beginning. In other words, He was the One who was glorified with the glory of God from the very beginning. He became a Man, He came on this earth, and this Man is Jesus Christ.
The Son of God is identified as the Word when He was with God before all creation, and He is identified as Jesus Christ when the Word became flesh and dwelt among mankind. He was glorified with the glory of God when He was with God. However, people did not see the glory of God that had come from Him when He became flesh and came on this earth.
With these things in mind, we need to understand that there is a difference between the Word that was with God and the word of God. The Word that was with God is different from the word of God, just as Jesus and the word of Jesus are different. The Word that was with God is called the Logos (λόγος), coming from the ancient Greek, and the word of God is called Rhema (ῥῆμα), also coming from the ancient Greek. The Logos indicates a Personal Being. He is God because He was with God (John 1:1). Rhema refers to the commandments or teachings that come from the mouth of God. The Word indentified here in this passage, ‘In the beginning was the Word”, is not a commandment or a teaching, but this is the Word and this Word is God. It is this Word who became flesh and came on this earth.
John 17:5 states, “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” Therefore, the Word that was with God from the very beginning is equal with God. Nevertheless, no one saw the glory of God that came from Him when He became flesh and came on this earth. Isaiah prophesied about Jesus as follows: ‘For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him’ (Isaiah 53:2).
Jesus was considered a deficient Man in the sight of the people. There was nothing appealing in His appearance, His frowned-upon occupation, and the lowly town that He grew up in. Jesus was treated with contempt by the people. The people stoned Him, spat at Him, despised Him and mistreated Him. Indeed, the people did listen to the word of His testimony. Rather, they would later on condemn Him as a ringleader of a heretical sect, scourge Him and eventually crucified Him. But God did not treat Him this way. God manifested Him when He spoke the words, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I well pleased” (Matt. 3:17).
God created all things that are in heaven and are on the earth for the sake of the Son. Once again, the passage found in John 1:3 states: ‘All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.’ This does not mean that God created all things through the word that came from the mouth of God, but it means that He created all things through the Son. Hebrews 1:2 states: ‘[God] has in these last days spoken us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.’ And Colossians 1:16-17 states: ‘For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.’
Therefore, we can see that the Son was glorified with the glory of God because He was with God before all creation. He came out from the bosom of God as the Only Begotten One, He came into the flesh and came into the world. At that time, the people saw Him only through the eyes of the flesh, and they could not discover the glory of God that came from Him. They mistreated Him, seeing Him only as an insignificant Man from the town of Nazareth. Even his followers considered Him merely as a great reformer, and they could not realize that He was the One who was glorified with the glory of God, having been with God from the very beginning.
It is only when one sees Him with the eyes of faith, that is, with one’s spiritual eyes fully opened, that one can see the glory of the Only Begotten God who came out from the bosom of God. Our faith is not to forcibly crown a man named Jesus as God. The emperor of Japan was, indeed, deified by the people of Japan back in the past. To deify a created being is an abominable act towards God. But Jesus is not to be deified by people. He is the God who was with God before all eternity and is the Only Begotten God who came out from the bosom of God (John 1:18).
Therefore, the question is whether you see Him with your fleshly eyes or with your spiritual eyes. People who depend on their fleshly eyes will see Him as a very unfortunate Nazarene who was crucified amongst criminals. On the other hand, the people who depend on their spiritual eyes will see the glory of God coming out from Him. It is your own individual choice on how you will see Him: whether you will see Him through your fleshly eyes or see Him through your spiritual eyes. People who consider Him as nothing but a mere man will perish, while people who regard Him as the Son of God will receive eternal life. Whether you fall or be saved, perish or receive eternal life, depends on how you choose to see Jesus. Our hope is to receive eternal life. We must see the glory of the One and Only God that comes only from Jesus Christ if we are to receive eternal life (John 17:3).
The one who sees Jesus through the eyes of faith will discover the grace and truth that comes from Him (John 1:14). We must receive grace if we want to live eternally. Moreover, grace comes to us only when we know that Jesus is the Only Begotten God who came out from the bosom of God. We must know the truth in order to be free. And the truth comes from Jesus only when we know that Jesus is the Only Begotten God who came out from the bosom of God. The person who knows Jesus merely as a man, will not discover the grace and truth that comes from Him. He became grace and truth to us, not as man, but as the Son of God.
Jesus is the One who was glorified by the glory of God, as the God who was with God before all creation. He became flesh, dwelt among us, and came in the fullness of glory as the Only Begotten One of God. We can have nothing to do with his grace, no matter how much we seek after it, if we do not know him; and we can have nothing to do with the truth, no matter how much we seek after it, if we do not know him. I pray in the name of Jesus that grace and truth may come upon you to the fullness, through your knowledge of the truth and your knowledge of the Only Begotten One of God.