John 1:1                                     One God Only                                        12/4/2011     

·        Why am I addressing “One Book”, and “One God Only”?

            The wolves are at the door (Rev 22:18-19, Hos 4:6)

 

 

 #1.      In the Beginning (2Pet 1:21, Gen 1:1)

 

·        In the beginning ‘Elohiym created the heavens and the earth. (Gen 1:1, John 1:1-3)

 

·        In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God. (John 1:1)

 

·        And the Logos became flesh, and dwelt among us, (John 1:1,14)

 

·        The Logos is also the Word of God, the Bible

 

 

 #2.      Which God ? (John 17)     

 

·        The men which Thou gavest Me out of the world (John 17:6, 6:37)

 

·        And they have kept Thy Logos (John 17:6, 16:32, 17:7-8)

 

·        I pray for them: I pray not for the world (John 17:9-10)

 

 

 #3.      The Last Word (Rom 3:11, Gal 1:8)

 

·        The Logos that I have spoken shall judge him in the last day (John 12:48)

 

·        And His Name is called The Logos of God (Rev 19:11-16)

 

·        Thou shalt have no other gods before Me (Rev 22:18-19)

 

 

                        John 1:1                                      One God Only                                                   12/4/2011     

Last week the Sermon title was One Book Written by God.  The Bible is One Book. And many of you were wondering: What is the big deal?  This is not a Church where we believe that the Bible is not One Book. This Church is solidly based on the Bible and the Bible alone.  The title of the Sermon for today is One God Only.  Many of you are probably wondering: Why is he now talking about One God Only? Our Church is not a Church where this is in doubt. This is not an issue here.  We do not believe in more than One God.

Well, the mere fact that I am spending a whole week thinking, and meditating, and writing about such a basic issue, means that it must be important.  But you ask:  Is it practical?  Well, if your life depended on it, would you not think it is practical enough? You know, in my function as the undershepherd of this congregation, it is my job to feed you the spiritual food that prepares you for the attacks of the Devil and the attacks on your soul, through false gospels.  Why should I warn you for false gospels?  Why should we be on the alert?  This is not a Church where false gospels are preached.  We feel safe and sound here. Why bring in these warnings? 

Now, think about it for a moment.  If this is indeed a Church where the True Gospel is preached, then you can count on it that the Devil and his angels are pounding at the door, trying to break in. The Devil does not stand idly by when the True Gospel is preached. We need to know that the Devil is at the door; the wolves are at the door. And we need spiritual weapons for the battle that is coming.

The secular world is not a threat. They care less whether we preach the True Gospel or not. But the religious world does care. There are many more Churches where another gospel is preached, than there are Churches where the True Gospel is preached. To the churches where another gospel is preached, the Gospel that we preach is an offence, it is a threat.  And why are we meeting here on Sundays?  Now, the reason why we are meeting here on Sundays is because we have left those other Churches where the gospel was watered down. They are not anymore worshipping the God of the Bible, and many of them are now worshipping on Saturdays.  And do you think that the Devil would not be concerned, and leave us alone? Of course he will not leave us alone!  No way! The wolves are at the door!  So, it is my job to feed you with the Word of God in such a way that you can defend yourself against the wiles of the Devil. As you know, there is not much time left. I am older than most of you. You should expect some changes in the future. And it is my job to prepare you for that day, so that you can stand on your own, and make decisions even in my absence.  That is why I want to warn you for the false gospels. How does a false gospel get a start in any Church? It occurs one little step at a time! For example, most of us have come out of Churches where we have been brainwashed with the idea that the Bible is a collection of 66 Books. In fact, it is written in our Belgic Confession, in Articles 4 and 5.  And from there it is only a small step to declare that the warning of Rev 22:18-19, is a warning that applies only to “The Book of Revelation”. I want to warn you for that.  So, if you go through the Sermon outline I gave last week, you will have in your hand the evidence that the Bible itself proves that the Bible is One Book Written by God. 

As you know, there are many Churches that have already decided that the warning of Rev 22:18-19 only applies to “The Book of Revelation”, and they have decided that God is still bringing Divine revelations today. What happened? The wolves have already devoured those Churches. They are no longer bringing the true Gospel of the Bible. Why and how did that happen?  How it happened is this way.  God says in Hos 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”. This is how it all began. People were no longer interested in studying what God has said. So, we need to take that to heart.  Those churches did not pay attention to the basic principles of the Gospel.  And today I would like us to consider another very basic principle of our Faith and show you that the church is under attack:

·        First, I want to talk about this fact that there is Only One God.  Everyone says: I know that!

·        Secondly, when everyone is soundly asleep, I will wake you up with the question:  Which God?  

·        Thirdly, I will discuss the question:  So What?  What are the consequences?

So that, briefly, is the outline of this sermon.  And, what then are the consequences?  The consequences are eternal life or eternal condemnation.  Is that a practical enough reason?  It cannot be more practical than that.  Let us address the first point. There is Only One God.

 #1.      In the Beginning (2Pet 1:21, Gen 1:1)

We believe the Bible is Only One Book, and that it does not “contain” the Word of God, but the Bible IS the Word of God.  It is God speaking!  God says in 2Pet 1:21,

2Pet 1:21 “Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost”.

In other words, holy men of God spoke the words that God moved them to speak, and they wrote the words that God moved them to write.  God’s own words were written in the Old Testament in Hebrew, and God’s own words were written in the New Testament in Greek. We have in our hands the King James Version, which is as close as possible, a word-for-word translation of the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Textus Receptus. Sometimes the translators have left a Hebrew or Greek word untranslated and we have adopted that word into our English language. And it made us better understand what that Hebrew or Greek word means. Let me give you an example: Think of the word “Sabbath”. We have assimilated that word in our English language, but it is a Hebrew word.  It is left untranslated. If you translated it, it would mean “rest”. But, it is “Sabbath”, and so we have adopted that in our English language. Sometimes I wish that God had done that with a few more words in the Bible.  For example, God says in Gen 1:1, “In the beginning God (Elohiym) created the heavens and the earth.” Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel according to John, John 1:1 (2X).

We all know by heart Gen 1:1.  What is God saying there?  To use the Hebrew word, He’s saying:

What does this mean?  The word for God here is the word ‘Elohiym, which is the plural name for God. Now that we have the revelation of the New Testament we can understand what God is saying here. In Genesis 1:1, God says:  In the beginning God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit created the Heavens and the earth. We know this because the New Testament gives us that information: The Father is God, The Son is God and The Holy Spirit is God. But the Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is not the Father.  And yet there is only One God, not three gods, but only One Triune God. God exists as Three Spirits in One. And each one of the three Persons of the Triune God is fully God. We cannot understand that with our human mind, but nevertheless those words are in the Bible. If the translators would have left the word ‘Elohiym stand in the translation, we would have a better understanding of what God is saying here in the Old Testament.  Let us now see how this compares with the Gospel according to John, in John 1:1-3.

Joh 1:1 In the begiinning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Joh 1:2 The same (rreferring to the Word) was in the beginning with God.

Joh 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

What does God mean here?  Well, if we combine John 1:1 with the statement of Gen 1:1, “In the beginning ‘Elohiym created the heavens and the earth”, then it becomes clear that the Word in John 1:1 is really a code word for one of the Persons of the Triune God.  In verse 14, God explains that this Person is the Second Person of the Triune God: It is God the Son who adopted a human body and soul and this union became the Lord Jesus Christ. Most people would say that God the Son adopted a human nature, which implies that this included a human body and a human soul. This is a necessary formula for the incarnation, for when Christ died He said, “Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit”, which means that His human soul went to the Father in heaven. His body went into the grave, but His body was still united with God the Son. We can see that because we who are in Christ were buried with Him. But we did not go into His grave in a dead body, for we were in Christ, in God the Son, from before the foundation of the world. And thus we were buried with Christ because we were in God the Son. This is a necessary ingredient of God’s plan of salvation.

The Gospel according to John is the most popular of the four narrative Gospels in the Bible.  More people know the gospel of John better than the other three gospels. Why is the Gospel of John so popular?  It is not because it is so easy, but because the fires of Hell are not directly mentioned in the gospel according to John. And so we realize that it is the wrong reason for the popularity of the Gospel according to John. No, the Gospel according to John is not written in easy language. For example, he could have written: In the beginning was the Son, and the Son was with God and the Son was God.  Then everything would be clear to us, and we would know what He meant.  But God decided that John would write in John 1:1,

·        In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God.

This was not the first time that God used the word Logos in the New Testament.  In fact, this word occurs 330 times in the New Testament, and it occurs in the singular as well as in the plural. Not always has Logos been translated “word” or “words”, quite often it has been translated “sayings”. To make matters worse, there is another Greek word that also has been translated “word” or “words”. What is the meaning of Logos? Actually the English word “Logic” was derived from this word. It is very close to what our English “Logic” means. But here is the important principle: In John 1:1 God identifies the Logos with God the Son. (The second person of the Trinity) Let us look at John 1:14:  

Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. Literally, God says here:

·        And the Logos became flesh, and dwelt among us (John 1:1,14)

God says now that God the Son became flesh and became known unto us as Jesus Christ, the Son of God. God says here in John 1:1 and in John 1:14, in no uncertain terms, that Jesus Christ is God the Son in the flesh! And since God the Son is fully God, the Lord Jesus Christ is not only the Son of God, but He is also God. We cannot understand this fully, since we cannot understand the Triune God, but we have to believe that Christ is God. God has more to say about the Logos:

·        The Logos is also the Word of God, the Bible

In many other parts of the Bible, God identifies Logos with the Word of God, the Bible. Now we can understand why the KJV translators chose to translate Logos as the Word in John 1:1.

Now let me summarize it.  When all is said and done God says at least four things:

#1. Jesus Christ is God.  #2. God the Son became flesh for us.  #3. Jesus Christ is the personification of the Logos of God.  #4. The Bible, the Word of God, is identified with Jesus Christ.

Why did God the Son have to come down to this sin cursed earth? The Bible says: God gave His only begotten Son. What does that mean that He “gave”? God gave Him up as a sacrificial Lamb of God! Why was that necessary? It was necessary because God desired to have a people for Himself, which He chose from among the human race that has gone totally on the way to hell, down to the last one. God desired to have a people for Himself from that human race. But since these people are full of sin and deserving hell for their sins, it is required that their sins must be atoned for, and for this purpose God sent the Lord Jesus to atone for our sins. Let us look at the second point now:

#2.       Which God do we worship? (John 17)

Will we worship the God of the Bible? Or will we worship some other god? When you ask anyone this question you know what they will answer. Of course they claim that they will worship no other God than the God of the Bible. But will they take Him at His Word? If we worship the God of the Bible, we take Him at His word. Please turn to John 17.  In the night before He was going to be crucified, the Lord Jesus prayed to His Heavenly Father. John 17 is known as the High Priestly Prayer of the Lord Jesus. Here are some remarkable things the Lord Jesus says beginning in verse 6.

·        He speaks about the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world (John 17:6, 6:37)

In the first five verses Jesus prays for Himself. Then beginning in verse 6, He prays for His disciples as well as for us.  He says in verse 6:

Joh 17:6, I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word (Logos).

They have kept thy Logos. Logos refers to the Bible, the whole word of God. Jesus says “the men which thou gavest me out of the world.” Does this remind us of a similar saying of the Lord Jesus in John 6:37, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” What is the Lord Jesus saying there in John 6:37? What Jesus says of the eleven disciples, he also says of US. Those of the human race whom the Father has elected from before the foundation of the world, were given to Jesus, and they SHALL come to Jesus, because God irresistibly draws them to Jesus.  But how can that be? They are dead in trespasses and sins. They have spiritually died of the disease called sin, and there is nothing they can do that pleases God. They are stinking corpses unfit to come to Jesus. They come from a world that God has called “The bottomless Pit”. It is the place where the prince of the power of the air is Satan Himself, and it is the place where Satan rules and controls the minds of men. Can you see? This is where we came from. We were enemies of God. Can you see the incredible grace of God for wanting to take us to belong to His people? O what a grace that Almighty God wants to be involved with such vile human beings. But look at how the Lord Jesus describes us. He does not describe us as vile human beings; not here in His High Priestly prayer. The Lord Jesus speaks very highly of us. He says in verse 6:

·        And they have kept Thy Logos (John 17:6, 16:32, 17:7-8)

Now, could that be?  If you glance to your left, to John 16:32 the Lord Jesus says there: “Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone.” These disciples, these men of little faith will run when their life is in danger; they will run away from Jesus.  Is that Sin?  Of course it is Sin.  It is great sin, and it will defile them even more.

But, How can the Lord Jesus then, here in this High Priestly prayer in chapter 17:6, say: They have kept Thy Word; as if they have kept it faithfully all their lives. How can this be? There is only one possibility: It is if the Lord Jesus has wiped away their sins by paying for their sins as their Substitute.  Why do they need a substitute? First, their sins need to be atoned for, because the righteousness of God must be satisfied. God is a righteous judge, a just judge. And His righteousness must be satisfied, which means that every sin must be paid in full. God determined that the wages of sin is death, and the death that God has in view is an eternity in hell, it is eternal damnation. And when God put that penalty in the law, He put it both in the Old Testament as well as in the New Testament.

In the Old Testament, He says “the soul that sinneth, it shall die”. That is something that has to be fulfilled. The whole human race, is deserving hell, eternal damnation. And Jesus said in John 17, in verse 6, He says, “they have kept Thy word.” They are blameless. They have no sin. So how could Jesus say that?  The only way is if He imputed their sin upon His own account and the Lord Jesus would pay on their behalf the penalty that they needed to pay, and in this way be their substitute. 

The word “impute” is a Biblical term. We understand that it is an accounting term. Something is taken from one’s account and it is put on someone else’s account. For those who are in Christ from before the foundation of the world, the Father has imputed the guilt of all their sins on Christ’s account, and the Father did that already before the foundation of the world when all our sins were still future sins. But the Father did that not for everyone in the world, but only for those whom He chose to be in Christ, His elect, for Christ is the Kinsman only for those whom the Father has chosen to be in Him. And in the same way the Lord Jesus would be our substitute. Can you see the immense grace of God to have Christ as a substitute in our place? He had to pay the price that we had to pay. He paid the full price, which is the equivalent of an eternity in hell, for this is the price that we would have to pay. What a Grace. So before He died on the cross, when He said, “It is finished”, He paid that price for each one of those whom the Father had given Him. The Lord Jesus said in John 17:7-8:

Joh 17:7 Now they hhave known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.

Joh 17:8 For I havee given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

Now, how could this come to pass? The only way is if these eleven disciples were chosen by God. They were elect, which means chosen, from before the foundation of the world. God, in His grace, moved them so that they believed the Lord Jesus Christ. But God did not move Judas Iscariot to believe. Judas Iscariot remained an unbeliever. Why the difference? Judas was not elect from before the foundation of the world. He was not chosen to receive the great inheritance. The Lord Jesus says:

·        I pray for them: I pray not for the world (John 17:9-10)

Joh 17:9-10 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.  And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.

The Lord Jesus says in no uncertain terms that He was not going to be a substitute for the whole world. He would be a substitute only for them whom the Father had given to Jesus. And so, when we read John 17, and we see these words, we understand that our God is a God who elects people unto salvation from before the foundation of the world, we understand that He chooses some and He passes by others. He is a God who requires payment for sin and that is why He has sent the Lord Jesus Christ into the world, to make the payment. It is a horrible payment, for it is the equivalent of an eternity in hell. And Christ did make the payment in His human nature, for man has sinned and man must atone for those sins. As a result of that payment God imputed upon the disciples and upon us, the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not that we indeed are righteous, but since God imputed the guilt of our sins on the Lord Jesus, and since He paid the full penalty for the guilt of our sins, we no longer are guilty of those sins, and He did that on Friday, April 3, in the year AD 33.

When Christ died on the cross in 33 AD, God committed Himself to save us at some point in our life.  And when we became Born Again, we were saved by God.  If I would save you, you are in bad shape, but if God saved you, in no way can you backslide or fall away, because, when God saved you, you are safe and secure until the day you die. That is who the God of the Bible is. But people do not like that. Most people will not like that. They prefer to believe a gospel where they can contribute something. And God says, “No, I am doing 100% and you do nothing”! Salvation is entirely by grace.

It is like Christ raising Lazarus from the tomb. Lazarus was a stinking corpse. Lazarus did nothing.  When Jesus said, “Lazarus, come forth!” Jesus made Lazarus come alive and hear His word, “Come forth” and he came forth. God drew him irresistibly. God made him alive, because he was dead, and God made him come to Jesus. It likewise occurred with the apostle Paul. Paul was an enemy of Christ. Paul was going to stamp out the church. Paul was totally dead in trespasses and sins. But then the Lord Jesus appeared to Paul and made his soul come alive, and Paul repented of his sins. You could say that the Lord twisted the arm of Paul so that he was forcefully drawn to Jesus. Paul did not repent of his own accord. Paul was forced to repent, because he was struck blind, and this was an outward sign that he was spiritually blind when He persecuted the church. And so, we see in these examples that God does 100% of the saving. And so it is the same with us. This is the God of the Bible. Will we take God at His word? Paraphrased God says, “this is the last word”. Jesus Christ is the last word that I have sent to you. When the Lord Jesus Christ preached on earth, He gave His message to His disciples. And when the last of the disciples died, that was the end. That was the end of God’s revelation. How can we so arrogantly say that now the disciples are bringing the last word?

 #3.      What Is the Last Word? (Rom 3:11, Gal 1:8)

So what? Should I be concerned if I am not one of God’s elect? If you are not one of God’s elect, you do not ever want to turn to the Lord Jesus. You would not be searching for Christ, and you do not want Christ lording it over you, for you do not like the way He operates. God says in Rom 3:11, “There is NONE that seeketh after God.” O yes, people claim that they are seeking after God but they are barking up the wrong tree. The god they are seeking is not the God of the Bible, but some other god whom they like, because this other god behaves in a manner that is more appealing to them. The God of the Bible takes away our self-respect, for the God of the Bible says, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy,” and whom I do not choose I will harden their hearts. But this other god whom they like says to them, “Come to me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and as many as have accepted me I will give the power to become the sons of God, even to everyone that believe on my name. All you need to do is come, and you can be saved tonight. Now, this is a different Gospel message than the God of the Bible proclaims. But what does God say in Gal 1:8? There we read,

Gal 1:8, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

This promise of the curse is repeated in verse 9. If anyone preaches or believes a salvation where we have to reach out to Christ before we can be saved, God promises that this person is under the curse of God, for this is not the Gospel of the Bible; this is worshipping a god who does not exist.

·        The Logos that I have spoken shall judge him in the last day (John 12:48)

Joh 12:48 He that rrejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him:  the word (Logos) that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

People are going to be judged by the word of God.  Now the “Word of God” is also another name for the Lord Jesus Christ.  Please turn to The Revelation of Jesus Christ, Rev 19:11. Here in Rev 19 we see Christ come out of heaven on a white horse. This is not to be taken literally, for there are no horses in heaven, and there is no horse manure in heaven. The horse indicates that Christ comes for war, and He will win the last battle, even though it seems that Satan is presently winning the war.

·        And His Name is called The Logos of God (Rev 19:11-16)

Re 19:11-13, And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 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. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. (The Logos of God).

When we read that God gives Christ the name, the “Logos” of God, (the “Word” of God), and God also calls the Bible the “Word” of God, we have come to realize that the Bible is the image of the Lord Jesus Christ, and when we change the Bible we have also changed the Savior in whom we trust. When people pray to God they may be praying to an idol that they have created in their mind.

Re 19:14-16 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword (Which is again The Word of God), that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

So He is King of king and Lord of lords.  And when we read in verse 13 “and he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood”, whose blood is that? Well, we read in verse 15 that “he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God”. That blood on His vesture is the blood of all the unrighteous. And that is why His name is called “The Word of God”. He is the judge. Now we connect that, the Word of God is Christ. We read in the Bible that the God whom we serve is Christ. Now, you also read in the Bible, the Ten Commandments. We will read the Ten Commandments today. But what is the first commandment? The first commandment is, “Thou shalt love the Lord Thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength, and you must do this every minute of the day. This is the first and the greatest of all commandments. If this is the greatest commandment, then what is the greatest sin? That is right. The greatest sin is to fall in love with another god, one who does not exist but comes out of your own mind. It is an idol that you create because you do not love the God of the Bible.  

·        Thou shalt have no other gods before Me (Rev 22:18-19)

What does that mean? What commandment does God have in view when He warns us of not violating Rev 22:18-19? These two verses tell us clearly how to judge between good and evil.

Re 22:18-19 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

God says in no uncertain terms that if you add to this book, the Bible, or if you take away from this book, the Bible, you have declared by your actions that you are still under the wrath of God.  What is the sin that we have committed when we add or take away from the word of God?  You guessed it:

Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.  The Lord Jesus Christ is so intimately identified with The Word of God, the Bible, that the Bible and only the Bible circumscribes who God is, and this is the God whom we will worship. No one else can say that he has an additional revelation from God. Where else can we find truth? Where else can we find our authority? We can say well, I love God, and I worship Him. But, where do we find truth? We have to define your source of truth.  We have to define the source of our Authority, and it must be the Bible alone. 

Many people have never heard anything said about Rev 22:18-19, or about this warning.  Have you ever wondered why?  It is because the leaders of the Churches deliberately avoid talking about it.  They do not like to talk about so called “controversial issues”. But what they are doing, in fact, is they leave the back door open, whereas God has commanded the door to be shut. He said: There will be no more revelations from God. What are the Church leaders now doing about it? They are running away from the problem, rather than attack it head on. They are like the hirelings who run away when they see the wolf coming. Do you know what the end result is? The wolf will devour the sheep.  That is why churches around us are falling away.  How do I know they are falling away? Because, they have left the authority of the Bible, of the Word of God. Pray that God will keep us faithful to the Bible, and to the Bible alone.   AMEN.               Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.