Lesson 02 – God’s Word Sent Forth
Have you ever sent a message via someone else only to have the message totally botched, and not received accurately? Have you ever felt that if you want your message to be heard and understood then you better deliver it yourself?
All through the Old Testament God had sent his message out. Sometimes he sent it via his prophets. Sometimes he sent it via natural phenomenon (1 Kings 19:12). God’s Word always went forth to accomplish His work. (Ps 147:15)
Isaiah 55:10-11 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
God has always been faithful in sending his message, but man has not always been faithful to respond.
The Passage: John 1:1-18
In Yeshua, Fruchenbaum describes 6 theological truths about the God’s Word (Mamra, or Logos) that John brings out in the opening verses of his gospel.
- God’s Word is distinct from God, but the Same as God. (John 1:1 The Word was WITH God, and the Word WAS God)
- How is it possible for the Logos to be distinct from God, and yet at the same time be God? The Rabbis taught both statements as being true and left it there. John the apostle did the same thing in the first verse of his Gospel. When he stated that the Logos was with God, he made Him distinct from God. Then he stated that the Logos was God, making Him the same as God. Like the rabbis, he did not try to explain the paradox at this point, but simply stated this as being true
- The Agent of Creation (John 1:3 -All things were created through him…)
- Whenever God created anything, He did so by means of His Word (Mamra, Logos). Everything that exists does so because of His Word (Memra). Without the Word (Memra), nothing that exists would exist. Therefore, the Word (Memra) was both there at and active in the beginning
- The Agent of Salvation (John 1:12 As many as received HIM…even to them who BELIEVE on HIS NAME)
- Whether it was a physical salvation (such as the Exodus out of Egypt) or a spiritual salvation, He always saved by means of His Word
- The Means by which God Became Visible (John 1:14 – The Word became flesh… we have SEEN his glory…)
- This is the same concept of the “Shekinah glory” in the OT, also the same as a “theophany,” a physical manifestation of God Himself. Whenever the invisible God became visible, whenever the omnipresence of God was localized, this visible, localized presence was referred to as the Shechinah glory. Throughout Old Testament history, it came primarily in three forms: light, fire, or cloud, or some combination of the three.
- However, what became visible was not intangible light, fire, or cloud. This time, God’s visible manifestation became very tangible flesh. By means of the incarnation, He became human, a man of flesh and bone. Then the Gospel of John tells us that this manifestation dwelled among us.
- Now, after about six centuries of absence, the Shechinah glory had returned, not in the form of light, fire, or cloud, but in the form of flesh, and once again tabernacled among us, “tabernacled” with the people of Israel.
- Just as in rabbinic theology, the Memra was the means by which God took on visible form, the same is now true of the Logos. Yeshua was the visible manifestation of God’s presence.
- The Means by which God signed His Covenant
- The dispensation of grace is based upon the New Covenant, which was signed and sealed by the shedding of Messiah’s blood when He died on the cross. One of the many things He accomplished through His death was the signing and sealing of the New Covenant (Lk. 22:20; Heb. 8:1–10:18). In that sense, He is also a covenant-signer.
- The Agent of Revelation (John 1:18 No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him)
Whenever God revealed Himself, He did so by means of the Memra, by means of the Word. Whatever we know about Him, we know because the Memra revealed it. Hebrews 1:1-3 makes the same point: In the past, God had revealed Himself in many different ways; in these last days, He revealed Himself by means of the Son, the Logos, the agent of revelation.
God’s plan is incredible. Throughout history God was sending forth His Word to reveal Himself to us. He created the universe by His Word. Salvation is ours through faith / belief in His Word. His Word makes God visible and enables us to see God! His Word is what reveals and declares God.
This was Jesus’ commission. To bring salvation, to make God visible, to reveal and declare God to the world!
In chapter 13 of “The Indwelling Life of Christ” Ian Thomas describes Jesus as “The Perfect Man.” He said “Jesus, being willing to empty Himself and to humble Himself in being born as a human being (Philippians 2:6–8) clothed with our humanity, the Lord Jesus advertised Deity through everything He did, said, and was, allowing that Deity to be heard, seen, known, and loved. This is why Jesus could tell Philip, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.… The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works” (John 14:9–10). He was fulfilling the role for which God created you and me: to live and act in the image of God, fully displaying the truth about Him.
We will be looking for how Jesus did that throughout this study. But, for today, our purpose, what God is speaking to me about today is the fact that, now that Jesus is no longer on this earth, He has passed this commission on to us! As His image bearers, He wants to use our lives to bring salvation, to make God visible, to reveal and declare God to the world.
We too, are given the same task as His image bearers. Ian Thomas “The reason this is so important is because this is the divine vocation into which you have been redeemed. As believers, You have been sent! You are God’s Word in the flesh! What kind of message and messenger are you? What do people hear / see about God through the Word sent through you?
God sent forth His Word verbally through the prophets. He then wrote it down through the scribes. God sent His message in the flesh through Jesus. Today you are His message, His Word in the flesh, you are the means by which salvation will be brought and the invisible God will be visible. How are you revealing and declaring God as His living, flesh and bones, Word made flesh?
The Power; Declarations of Truth:
- When God sends forth His Word, it always accomplishes it’s purpose
- I am God’s Word sent forth! He wants my life to be the visible manifestation of God to the world around me!
- I want to be God’s instrument that he can use purposefully, not incidentally!
- When God is seen at work through me, my life is an epiphany! That’s something to be living for!