God’s Word is powerful, it is creative, it gives life not only physical life, but a higher form of life – spiritual life. The very character of God, the very life of God is in the Word of God. What is your relationship to God’s word? A “Christian”, who does not study God’s Word, makes no time for the life-giving Word, the life-sustaining Word, makes no time for the life-transforming Word, the healing Word, the resurrecting Word, that person may be a church member, but that person is not a child of God. You should make time for the Eternal Word of God, it will save you, it will sustain you, it will fit you for a place in God’s kingdom.
2- Roots of Truth: Eternal WordWelcome to this presentation. As we continue with the series, The roots of Truth and the purpose of this series is to show from the Bible that the central themes of salvation, the most important doctrines of Scripture, what we would call present truth, are all rooted and they originate in the first three chapters of Genesis and surely within the first eleven chapters of that book. And it is when we understand that and begin our study of any Bible subject at the place where that subject is first mentioned or hinted at that is when we have taken the first step towards studying the Bible systematically so that our conclusions may be reasonable and sound.
And so today our subject is the Eternal Word and during this series which will be about six presentations we will take a different Bible subject and show how it originates from the earliest chapters of the book of Genesis hence the title of the series the roots of truth and for today our subject is the Eternal Word. Before we get into the subject, let me say as I intend to say on all the other presentations, that this method of beginning at the beginning when studying the Word was used by Jesus Christ Himself in Matthew 19 when He addressed a question from the Pharisees should a man put away his wife, is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? Jesus took His listeners back to the beginning in verse 4 of Matthew 19 and He answered and said unto them have ye not read that He which made them at the beginning? When they brought another opposition to Him Jesus went back to the beginning again in verse 8 and He said unto them Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives but from the beginning it was not so. And so, we have Jesus Christ going back to the beginning to answer a question that was put to Him four thousand years after the creation of man.
By the way that’s a lesson for us. When we try to answer Bible questions. When we try to for instance, here’s a question we get all the time: Why should I not go to the movies? Why should I not eat this? Why should I not drink that? We should try to answer those questions as much as possible by going back to the beginning at a time when there was no sin. And so we will take a look at this subject the Eternal Word and we shall do that by going back to the beginning following the example of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
In John chapter 1 verse 1 the Bible says in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. Of the four Gospels, John is most different from the other three and therefore it is not part of the group known as the synoptic Gospels made up of Matthew, Mark and Luke. They’re called the synoptic Gospels because generally they tend to see things alike, they have a sympathetic view of the events of the life of Christ. By sympathetic I mean, general similarity among their various presentations. The Gospel of John is entirely different, it is not contradictory to the other three Gospels it is just different in the way it deals with Christ and the way it presents Christ and so it is not called a synoptic gospel and it begins with this well-known verse in the beginning was the word. It begins with identifying Christ as the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. Let us look at that verse very carefully. Now those of you listening may say but that’s not the earliest part of the Bible where the Word is mentioned, that’s quite true we will get to that in a minute.
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. What we have in that verse among other things is plurality and equality.
- In the beginning was the Word the Word was with God – that’s plurality of persons the Word and God
- The Word was God – that’s equality. Whoever this Word was, that person, that entity was equal with God
So, we go back to 1 John 1 that which was from the beginning which we have heard which we have seen with our eyes which we have looked upon at our hands of handle of the Word of life. John is not referring to the gospel, he is referring to Jesus Christ of having existed always with the Father from as far back as the human mind can stretch. Christ has always been there and He is referred to as the Word.
Having said that, we go to Genesis 1:1 and the Bible says in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Now you take that verse and you connect that with John chapter 1 verse 3 all things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made. What that tells us is that when Genesis 1:1 says in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth we may correctly say in the beginning the Word created the heaven and the earth even though the Word for God in Genesis 1:1 Elohim meaning plural. But based on John chapter 1 verses 1 to 3 and also verse 10 which identifies the Word as Christ and creator Genesis 1:1 can be accurately expressed as in the beginning the Word created the heavens and the earth. And so in the very first verse of the Bible, by careful reasoning we come into contact with the Word not ink on a piece of paper, we are referring to an intelligent being a divine entity who is known and presented to us as the Word. In the beginning, God created heaven and the earth or in the beginning the Word created the heaven and the earth.
Now our subject is the eternal word. Before I go any further let me give a Word of assurance that those of you listening whether in person or by recording. You do not need an advanced degree to understand the fundamentals of the Bible and by the fundamentals I mean that which is essential for your salvation that which you need to know in order that you might have a vibrant relationship with God, a relationship that draws you closer and closer to Him. What you need is an honest heart to study God’s Word, a willingness to obey that word: John 7:17 if any man will do His will, he shall know the doctrine.
So, a desire to obey what you learn, a willingness to come with an open mind and to be honest and to be led by the Spirit of God, among other things, but if you will come with that mindset you can understand the Word of God. The Bible says the common people heard Christ gladly. The common people, meaning the uneducated. No I am NOT trying to glorify illiteracy, I am NOT doing that. I am simply saying if you do not have a college degree, you can still understand the Word of God because Christ promised in John 16:13 albeit when he the Spirit of Truth has come He will guide you into all truth. That promise is for any believer of Christ whether the person is educated at the highest level or illiterate. If the person depends on the Spirit and comes with a heart to know truth, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, that person will be filled.
Now we go back to Genesis 1:1 in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth and the information we glean from John chapter 1 verses 1 to 3 and verse 10 and from first John 1. That information informs us that Genesis 1:1 is referring primarily to the Word and that Word of course is Jesus Christ. So, we must take a look at the Word of God because when Jesus walked on this earth in John chapter 14 verse 6 He says I am the way the truth and the life no man cometh unto the Father but by Me. By identifying Himself as the truth, Jesus Christ identified Himself as the Word because in John 17:17 He also said sanctify them through thy truth thy Word is truth. So, by saying I am the truth Christ is effectively saying I am the Word.
In Revelation 19:13 the Bible says and He was clothed in a vesture dipped in blood and His name is called the Word of God. This is a vision that John sees of Christ coming back victoriously not as priest but as conquering King to deliver His Saints and destroy His enemies and His name is the Word of God. What is this Word of God? And what should be our relationship to the Word of God?
My listening friends, your relationship to God’s Word determines your relationship to God. Let me say that again differently. It is impossible to have a relationship with God outside of His Word whether that Word is in the form of a Bible held in your hand or some revelation of His will in your inner spirit. It is impossible to have a relationship with God outside of His Word as it is revealed to you and so we need to understand as much as we possibly can the Word of God.
Now Genesis 1:1 says in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. The rest of that chapter from verse 2 to verse 31 tells us how creation was done and one Word summarizes how it was done or one expression by the Word.
Listen to verse 3 – “And God said, let there be light and there was light”. Now this is the Word. The Word said let there be light and there was light. This expression and God said is repeated between 9 and 10 times in that chapter 1 of the book of Genesis and God said over and over again. Clearly the Holy Spirit who inspired the writing of the book of Genesis which was written by Moses wants us to understand, He wants to get it into our consciousness that the creation of heaven and earth, the miraculous works of God were accomplished by His Word and nothing else.
Let me pause on that his expression, by His Word and nothing else. Listen to Genesis 1:3 and God said. Now I want you to use your imagination and picture God standing somewhere in the universe, maybe in His throne or somewhere in heaven, wherever He was, God was somewhere and God said let there be light. God being Christ spoke those words and the light came. That’s all God did, He spoke the Word and the Word created the light. I must say that again. You know that we have four Gospels about the life of Christ each one of the four talks about the crucifixion, the resurrection His ascension that’s repetition. Repetition is an indispensable tool of effective teaching. Let me repeat what I just said. All God did was to speak, let there be light and there was light.
Ellen White writes in the book Education page 126 paragraph 4, the same the creative energy that called the world into existence is in the Word of God. The same power that brought the light however long ago, that was that same power, is in the Word of God. The creative energy, notice the wording she uses, the creative energy that call the worlds into existence, is in the Word of God and so when Christ said He wasn’t called Christ back then just a second member of the Godhead but the Bible is very clear that the creator of Heaven and earth was Jesus Christ and God Himself tells us that in Hebrews chapter 1 verse 10.
When Christ said, let there be light, that’s all He needed to say and the subject of the Word can take of many, many presentations. So, to do it in one means I’m condensing a lot of information into small space of time, or a period of time.
Let’s look at that again. Christ being the Word speaking the word, when He said let there be light, He did not have to do anything else the light came. How did the light come? By the power of the spoken word. There is a remarkable example of that same process in operation in the book of Matthew chapter 8 from verse 5 the Bible says and where Jesus was entered Capernaum they came unto Him a Centurion beseeching Him and saying unto Him Lord or master my servant life at home sick of the palsy and grievously tormented. This Centurion by virtue of his servants came to Christ. I have read a sick servant grievously tormented not just the sniffles seriously ill. Jesus said unto him I will come and heal him. I will come physically says Christ and heal that servant of yours. Verse 8 of Matthew 8 the Centurion answered and said lord I am not worthy that thou should come under my roof. In other words, I don’t deserve to have you come personally in flesh and bones and step into my house not only do I not deserve to have you come, it is not necessary for you to come. Then how then was the servant to be healed? Because Jesus said I’ll come and I’ll heal him.
When the Centurion said I am not worthy that thou should come under my roof, he continues this words but speak the Word only and my servant shall be healed. What that Centurion was saying is that as long as the Word was sent by Christ, whatever Christ personally would have done had He gone to that man’s house is precisely what the spoken Word would do!
Now keeping this in mind, go back to Genesis 1:3 and God or Christ said let there be light, He did not have to do anything else. He did not take some dust and pulverize it even further and then toss it into the atmosphere and light came. There was nothing else the Bible tells us Jesus did after He simply said let there be light meaning that the Word spoken created the light and this process has not changed. The spoken Word of God is a means by which God does whatever He does. And so, the Centurion said to Christ, lord I am not worthy that thou shouldst come under my roof, just send the Word and your Word will do whatever you would do if you were to come personally.
This gives us a tremendous Bible teaching. It is this: when you have the Word not just in a Bible on a shelf. When you have God’s Word within you received by faith, you virtually have Christ. I’ll say again differently. It is through the Word that Christ abides in us. We see that from Matthew 8:5 onward when the Centurion said just speak the Word and Jesus marveled, He said I have not found so great faith no not in Israel. He marveled that the man realized that whatever Jesus would do personally the Word would do. The man, the Centurion, the Roman centurion made a connection, he was virtually saying the power of Christ is the power of His word. The life of Christ is in his word. The character of Christ is in his word. The holiness of Christ is in his word. The Word has whatever Christ has. The Word is what Christ is and so he said just send the word.
Now the Bible says in Psalm 107 verse 20 referring to the Israelites in the wilderness, He sent His Word and healed them. Where the Word of God is, there is God, but let me expand on that. Where the Word of God is received into the heart by faith, there God dwells. When you have God’s Word in your heart, my listening friends, you have God, you have Christ. That is how He abides in us through the word.
Let’s see that in John 15. We’ll read from verse 4. Our subject is the Eternal Word. It’s part of a series entitled the roots of truth and we’re trying to show that the major Bible doctrines are all rooted or they originate from the first three chapters of Genesis and certainly from within the first eleven.
John 15 reading from verse 4 the Bible says abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine no more can ye except ye abide in Me. Now Christ is saying, you must abide in me and I will abide in you. Verse 5, Ye that abideth in Me and I in him the same bringeth forth much fruit for without Me you can do nothing. Now let skip to verse 7 if ye abide in Me and My words abide in you. Now the theme of abiding is big in the first part of the John chapter 15. If ye abide in Me says Christ and My Word abides in you, you shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you.
In verse 7 Jesus says if ye abide in Me and My words abide in you, but in verse 4 He said abide in Me and I in you. In verse 5 He says abide in Me and I in you. In verse 7 He says, you abide in Me and the Word abides in you – meaning that the Word abiding in us is the same thing as Christ abiding in us
Again, Desire of Ages page 677 paragraph 1 Ellen White writes it is through the Word that Christ abides in His followers, or in us – through the word. When Christ walked with the disciples, He was with them physically, He was with them, He was not necessarily in them. Let me say it again, He was with them not in them. With the coming of the comforter, the Holy Ghost, with Christ physically gone and Christ promised I will not leave you comfortless I will come to you that’s what he said in John 14 verse 18 and 19. I will come to you. How did He come? Through the spirit filled word, because with the absence of Christ, what took the place of Christ in the lives of the disciples was His word.
Now I am stressing the Word so heavily and I can’t imagine a Bible doctrine more critical, more important than the doctrine of the Word of God not only should it be absolutely important to us, it is of absolute importance to God because Psalm 138 verse 2 tells us that God has magnified His Word above all His name. You take all the names of God; Elohai, Elohim, El Shaddai, the Mighty God. Whatever God’s names are, you combine all of them there about 300 or more, combine all of them the Bible says God Word is above His name, all His name. So, the Word of God is everything to God. When the Word is in you, Christ is in you. When Christ is in you, the Father is in you and that happens through the indwelling Word of God.
And so, we’ve established so far today that the power that created the universe was the Word of God and that power is not an impersonal power. I am NOT referring to electricity or electromagnetism, I am referring to the very life of Christ in his Word so much so that:
- the power of the Word is the power of Christ
- the holiness of the Word is the holiness of Christ
- the righteousness of the Word is the righteousness of Christ
I don’t want to take the time to show you how:
- He created through the word,
- He saves through the Word
- He sanctifies through the word,
- He casts out demons through the Word
- He forgives through the Word
- when you see, a tree think of the creative power of God’s Word – vegetation made on the third day
- when you see light, think of the creative power of the Word of God – light made on the first day
- when you see the firmament – and God said Genesis 1:6 let there be a firmament think of the creative power of the Word of God
We listen again to Genesis chapter 1, the entire chapter, the lesson for us is that God’s Word: is powerful, it is creative, it gives life. Let me say that again, God’s Word is powerful, it is creative, it gives life, not only physical life but a higher form of life spiritual life. All through the Word of God, Genesis 1:3 and God said let there be light, we learn from that that God’s Word does exactly what it says. That’s why Jesus says in John 10:35 the scripture cannot be broken. Why would Jesus say that? The scripture is just another Word for the Word of God? The Word of God cannot be broken. What it says, it will do. It cannot be disannulled. An example of that is the fact that Jesus Christ despite His best efforts could not save Judas. Why was that? The Bible says God’s hand is not shortened that He cannot save – Isaiah 59:1, why was it Christ could not save Judas? Not because Christ lacked the ability to save, He’s the Savior but when Judas chose to be the one to betray Christ, Judas stepped into a prophetic word. Psalm 41 verse 9 yay my own familiar friend in whom I trusted whom did eat of my bread hath lifted up his heel against me.
Now this is a prophecy of the fact that one day someone would have betrayed Christ, someone close. Notice the verse says mine own familiar friend in whom I trusted whom did which did eat of My bread. This signifies a close relationship. Judas had that as one of the twelve disciples. So, it was predicted by the Word of prophecy, someone would betray Christ and someone who betrays Christ that way doesn’t repent can’t possibly be saved. Jesus said in John 17:11-12 11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
Now why was it Christ unable to save Judas? Because the Word identifies the betrayer of Christ as someone who would eventually be lost and so Jesus says none of them is lost but the son of perdition that the scripture might be fulfilled. I don’t know if you realize the power of that statement from Christ. Let me put it more bluntly more radically. Jesus said in John 10:35 the scripture cannot be broken it cannot be disannulled or it cannot be set aside not even God can break His word. I’ll say differently not even God can prevent a unconditional prophecy from being fulfilled, not even God. The prophecy stated that Nebuchadnezzar’s Kingdom would come to an end, not even God could prevent that because the Word of God is so unbreakable not even God and I speak with great respect can prevent a prophetic Word an unconditional prophetic Word from being fulfilled. That is the power of the Word of God and so Jesus confessed I couldn’t save him, why? That the scripture might be fulfilled. And very early on the Bible Genesis 1:3 we see how the scripture cannot be broken because when Christ said let there be light, if no light had come that scripture would have been broken.
Let me practice usual habit of saying things again. When the Creator who was Christ said let there be light that’s a spoken word, if no light had come that Word would have been broken and it would have ceased to be the Word of God and whoever said it could not have claimed to be God. That’s how critical the connection is between God and His Word. If God says something and that does not happen then we have to ask the question did God really say? And again, I’m referring to unconditional prophecy. Conditional prophecy God may or may not do it depending on how a human being responds, but an unconditional statement, when God makes it that statement must be fulfilled. If it is not fulfilled it was not the Word of God and it wasn’t God who said it. If God’s words are broken, then God is not God.
Jesus could not save Judas, why? Because Judas placed himself in a place where a prophetic statement declared that he would behave a certain way and that behavior will lead to his loss. Christ could not save meaning Christ could not break the scriptures. Once that Word is released, once that Word is spoken what it says must happen. Let there be light, there was light. When you and I understand that, if we truly understand that, how is it possible for anyone to doubt God’s Word? All of God’s interaction with humanity is through His Word either by prophets, dreams, visions, miraculous events, directly through Jesus Christ or those who came after Christ. All His interactions are through His word. We must be able to trust the Word of God or we cannot have a relationship with God.
Now God does not have to trust our word, because our Word has no power but we must be able to trust 100% everything God says from Genesis to Revelation, properly understood, if it’s properly studied, let me say that. I repeat, we must be able to express 100% confidence in the Word of God when we study properly and we understand it as it should be understood. And the very first chapter of Genesis teaches us that lesson among many others that it teaches. The Word of God is absolutely reliable, unbreakable, powerful. Whatever power God has, the Word has. Whatever holiness God has, the Word has. I said earlier the very character of God, the very life of God is in the Word of God.
And so this eternal Word, all the way back to Genesis 1:1 chapter 1 from verse 1 to 3 the Bible introduces us to the Word of God. Not from the prophets and the Word of God came by Isaiah, the Word of God came again unto me saying no, no, no that’s all fine and good, you find that expression repeatedly in the major prophets. But our first contact with God’s Word and the power of that Word is in Genesis chapter 1 verse 1 and more clearly in verse 3 where it is said and God said let there be light.
And so I ask you, what is your relationship to God’s Word? Do you study the Word of God? A “Christian”, let me put that in quotation marks, who does not study God’s Word, makes no time for the life-giving Word, the life-giving and the life-sustaining Word, makes no time for the life transforming Word, the healing Word, the resurrecting Word, that person may be a church member, but that person is not a child of God. Yes, it’s a harsh statement but sometimes truth is harsh. The soul that sinneth it shall die that’s harsh but its truth. Let me say it again, if I claim to be a child of God and I make no time for God’s Word, I am NOT a child of God. I may be an absolutely first-class church member but I’m not a child of God. For me to be a child of God, God must indwell me through the Spirit, through the Word and for that Word to be in me or in you, we must study it, accept it surrender to it and obey.
My listening friends, the Word of God is the very power of God. It is by His Word He made heaven and earth. It is by His Word He does everything for us and I venture to suggest to you that the single most important lesson of Genesis 1 is not to instructor us on what day God made this or that but the power of His word, the divine power of that Word. I usually say that in Genesis 1 God is advertising Himself to a world and He is applying, I should say for the job, the job is Savior. He wants to save us, but before He tells us believe in me, He gives us a demonstration of what He can do.
When you and I apply for jobs we submit what we call CVs – curriculum vitae or resumes and we put them on the finest paper and we inflate our accomplishments. We try to give the very best impression. Impression that goes beyond what we’ve actually done, that’s the way we function. God’s resume is Genesis 1. In that chapter, God says here’s what I’ve done and I did it through My Word:
- that same Word can change your life,
- that same Word can heal you,
- that same Word can fix your broken family,
- that same Word can enable you to keep my Sabbath holy
- that same Word can provide for you economically
- that same Word can prepare you for a place in my kingdom.
And so I ask you from my heart, I appeal to you, regardless of the hectic nature of your life and some people are so busy doing church work they have no time for the Word of God and that truly is a tragedy. To be so busy with church work and to have no time for the God of the church is truly sad. Make time for the Eternal Word of God; it will save you, it will sustain you, it will fit you for a place in God’s kingdom. May God, bless you, bless you all as we receive the Word into our lives through submission and surrender and obedience for by receiving this eternal Word, we verily 100% receive Christ. God, bless you.