The Revelation of Jesus Christ: The Word of God
In the last article, we treated the importance of believing the gospel, and that by beholding Christ by faith, the believing child of God would reflect that glory shining upon the face of Jesus Christ. The gospel principle is set forth this way:
[2 Cor 3:18] “…we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
Therefore, by beholding we become changed. It is necessary then, since there is a call in Scripture to “Behold thy God”, to set forth clearly the One who we are to behold.
WHO IS CHRIST THAT WE SHOULD BEHOLD HIM?
To behold Him correctly is of vital importance, for in beholding Him, we behold the true principles of the gospel, and by beholding the gospel, we behold the glory of God. Satan seeks to blind us to Christ, as He is in truth:
[2 Cor. 4:4] “…the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
The glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, is seen in beholding the light of God’s glory, and beholding that glory will transform the child full of faith into that same image. For this reason, I’ll be treating the subject of who Christ is in His several ministries over the next few months; each building upon the previous article.
IN THE BEGINNING: THE LIVING WORD
The come to understand more fully the Cornerstone of creation (that is, to set forth Christ’s true relation to the Scriptures, and the Scriptures proper relation to us), is one of the best and ennobling studies that any true Christian can undertake. By understanding this point alone, all other mysteries in the Word of God, as pertaining to the revelation of Christ, may be made wonderfully clear. Therefore, it is this Cornerstone of creation that we intend to look at. Of this Cornerstone, who is none other than Christ, it is written:
[John 1:1-3] “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) The same was in the beginning with God. (3) All things were made by Him [the Word]; and without Him was not anything made that was made.”
From the very beginning, the gospel writer sets forth a most essential component to Christ’s identity, and would have his readers to understand this very point clearly, declaring it in the plainest language possible: Christ is the Word of God that created all things. This reveals the true position of Christ in relation to God, as well as to all created things. The Scripture expounds further on this reality:
[Col. 1:16] “For by Him [Christ the Word] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for him:”
More than this, Christ is the One [Heb. 1:2] “by whom also He [God] made the worlds” This truth is vital because it declares that God made all things by His Word, and that Word, in the truest manifestation, is Christ.
THE CHRIST PRINCIPLE
Therefore, there is an intimate reality that all created beings sustain to Christ and to God, and this is an existential fact:
[1 Cor. 8:6] But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
God is declared to be the One “of whom” are all things. In other words, He is the Great Source of all. Then the Lord Jesus Christ is declared to be the one “by whom” all things are. Therefore, Christ is the means by which God creates everything. The Greek word [dia] better emphasizes this, being defined as “the channel of an act”. Therefore, God’s act of creative power is displayed through the channel of His Christ. Christ is intimately linked to all the works of God, and all creation; that great Medium connecting both. This principle is one of the most important principles to understand in all the Bible. So in future articles, I may refer to this principle as the Christ principle.
THE WORD FULFILLED
Bringing our minds back to the creation of this world, we can behold something about the thing that comes from the Voice of God:
[Gen. 1:3] “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”
God commanded the light to shine out of the darkness, and it was so. By what means was it so? By His Word. God spoke, and Christ, the living Word, fulfilled and upheld in His own being the thing which God commanded. Speaking of the fulfillment of His Word, God declares:
[Isa. 55:11] “So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Therefore, the Word of God fulfills the will of God. Christ, as the living Word, makes this clearer that He is the One by which that thing is fulfilled, saying of Himself, “I do always those things that please him.” [John 8:29] The author of Hebrews declares that even now, Christ is “upholding all things by the word of His power.” [1:3] Christ is the One who fulfills the Word of God, and through Him the power of God is witnessed, be it in every sprouting seed, in the vast array of worlds throughout the illimitable space, or in every heartbeat of a newborn babe. The power of God gives evidence to the sustaining power of the living Word.
Therefore it is clear that your very being, your conscious reality, is a wonderfully manifest token of the work of God through Christ; your existence is a sufficient testimony to declare that “God is love” if you will but realize it. The very same hand that made all things, that upholds the worlds by His Word, also upholds you by that same glorious hand. Not only does God uphold all things by Christ, but we are told that “by Him [Christ] all things consist.” [Col. 1:17]
THE WORD IS TRUTH
When we consider the Word of God being fulfilled, just as God commands, it prospers and does that thing which pleases Him, and it does so in the time which He ordains it should prosper. Jesus accomplishes this very thing that the God ordains. This should evidence the fact that God’s Word is faithful, and the Scripture abundantly testifies to faithfulness and power of the Word of God:
[Psalm 33:9] For He spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.
[Psalm 148:5] Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.
[Heb. 11:3] 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.
“God spake, and it was done”, “He commanded, and they were created”. God’s Word is sure and streadfast. The creative power of it was sufficient cause for the apostle to exclaim that it is “impossible for God to lie”, because the thing which goes forth from His mouth is the thing which shall be accomplished. All of this testifies of the great faithfulness of our Redeemer. If Christ is the living Word, and it is impossible for God to lie, then Christ is the truth and promises of God manifested, and He shall perform all the promises that God has declared in His Word. The Scripture tells us:
[2 Cor. 1:20] For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
All the promises of God are made sure to us by Christ, and if you are Christ’s, then those promises are already made sure for you, in Him, and by Him, so long as that promise being fulfilled toward you shall be for His glory. Since by Christ, God made all things, it naturally follows that by Christ, He shall redeem all things by the redemptive purposes that He fulfills, and will cause it to be also fulfilled in us.
THE RELATION OF CHRIST THE WORD TO US
Seeing as all things came forth by the Word, and we receive all the promises of God in Him and by Him, it should logically be understood that all things essential to our growth and prospering in Christ come through that same appointed channel. All things to nourish us spiritually, every blessing, is found in Him:
[2 Peter 1:2-3] “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:”
“According as His divine power hath given us all things pertaining to life and godliness…”, and what is His divine power? It is the power by which God upholds all things. That power that created all things is the Word. Therefore Christ, to us, is life, is godliness. More than this, we’re told, “unto them which are called, Christ [is] the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” Truly, Christ is everything to us as a people.
Let’s look briefly at the creative power which brought healing to the servant of the Centurion soldier, through his faith in the Word of God:
[Matt. 8:8-10] The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel… Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.”
If the authority of a flesh and blood soldier should cause his soldiers under him to perform his word at his command, how much more do you think the Authority of God’s living Word can create in you, and accomplish what it says? And if he believed in the living Word’s authority to heal, and it came to pass 2000 years ago in the “selfsame hour”, can the believing soul trust that this great Channel of Authority can fulfill His wonderful purposes in us? Indeed, all of His commands are promises to those who believe:
[Psalm 27:8] When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.
Therefore, to the one who believes in that creative power, all promises are firm, and all things are for us, including the power to live a new life by Christ. It is actually Christ who manifests that power in you as you walk in obedience to His Word, working in us to will and to do of God’s good pleasure, doing “always those things that please Him” through us.
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN CHRIST AND THE SCRIPTURE
What about the written word, and what relation does it sustain to the Living Word? Here is one of the places where the Christ principle is most important.
The written word, when detached from the Living Word, or when read just as a lifeless book, is just that, and is no more powerful than ink upon paper, but if we recognize the Living Word as the Source of the written word’s power, the Scriptures become to us as a new book, living and breathing, powerful and full of life in Him. The Word of God performs all that is declared of Him in the Scriptures. Every prophecy, every promise, every healing, every act of creation, He has covenanted to fulfill as the Living Word of God. Speaking of this, in the Psalms, Christ declares “Lo, I come: in the volume of the book [The Scripture], it is written of Me.” [Psalm 40:7]
The Scripture is intimately connected with Him, inasmuch as He is the living Scripture, and fulfills those words that are written in the truest sense. Were it not for Him, the Scripture is powerless, and could have no power to save at all. Since He fulfills those words written of Him, He is the One that imbues the Scriptures with vivifying, life-giving power.
[John 17:17-19] Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth. As thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
Therefore the Scripture that we read of Him is but an appointed channel to reveal Him to us, while He is the True Source of all the blessings of life that flow to everyone that believes. Notice that Christ says that the Word of God brings sanctification, and how He must sanctify Himself in obedience to that Word, that we “might be sanctified through the truth.” His obedience is the sanctification of that Word, and it is through obedience to that word that He imbues the soul with the manifestation of power coming through that divinely appointed channel.
[John 14:21-24] “He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that Thou wilt manifest Thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth Me not keepeth not My sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent Me.”
Those who keep His word in obedience, will receive the sanctification of that word, and Christ will manifest His Spirit in you, to empower you, and to make you a revelation of His creative strength.
However, a mere letter upon paper, or repeated vocally, could do nothing for the unbelieving soul who does not see in it the revelation of Jesus Christ. More than this, He Himself is that Sanctification that the Word of Truth gives; if He did not Himself keep and fulfill those commands written in the Word of God, the written Word as found in the Bible could have no sanctifying power, seeing as the letters itself are imbued with power through Him to whosoever believes: this is the Christ principle at work.
The Scripture reveals Christ and Christ fulfills and empowers the Scripture in an intimate and inseparable relationship, and this empowerment is given through Him to all who believe and obey the truth as it is in Him. Christ is made manifestly revealed to your mind by the Scripture, and by the same means, is manifest in all of you who truly believe. That should be sufficient encouragement for any to read the Word of God and behold the beauty of God’s glory!
[Luke 8:17] “For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.”
But “if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost”. In the manifestation of the gospel of Jesus Christ to us is revealed the power which shall be made manifest in us. As it is written: “…that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.“ (Rom. 1:19) But then to be manifest in us, it must be revealed/manifested to us. As we showed in the last article, and earlier in this article, there is one who is seeking to prevent this work by blinding minds to the revelation of Jesus Christ. And why? Because in that revelation is the power of the living Word, which is nothing less than the power to be a new creation in Christ!
[1Tim. 3:16] “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest…”
Christ came to make the knowledge of God manifest in Himself that He might be revealed; therefore, this is chiefly what the revelation from the Word of God does as we read the Scripture: it manifests Him to us, and in us. By the Scripture, we may behold the glory of God as Moses did, and by faith, partake of that same glory.
THAT GLORIOUS NAME BELONGS TO CHRIST
Of the Word of God, none have the privilege of holding this name but Christ, nor is their salvation or power in any other, save Him. The Scripture tells us:
[Rev. 19:12-13] His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He himself…His name is called The Word of God.
And that same glorious King, “The Word of God”, declares:
[Rev. 21:5] And He that sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of the darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ…Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” [2 Cor. 4:6, 5:17]