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In The Beginning

John Collins09/10/2013

Video available here: http://youtu.be/e9xPGh5lmT4

“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 was not any thing made that was made.  In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

John 1:1-4

This is a passage of scripture that most of us are familiar with.  It’s the opening to the book of John, describing the deity of Jesus Christ when the Word was made flesh and walked among God’s children.

Jesus was the Word.  He was that same word in the beginning when the heavens and earth were created, and He created them for Himself. 

All Christians believe this.  This is the fundamental teaching of Christianity, the one solid foundation that we rest our souls upon.  Any teaching other than this is against Christ, and any doctrine against Christ is from the antichrist.

Yet we find large groups of people that have severed themselves from the Body of Christ, denying even the God who sent them.  The God that created the heavens and the earth seems unimportant as compared to the doctrines of the men who coerced them into separating from other Christians.  The Word is replaced with the word of a man.

Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Jehovah’s Witness faith, denied this fundamental teaching for a new invention.  But studying history, this is not a new invention; Russell is simply one man in a long line of false leaders who lead God’s children astray.

Jehovah’s Witness cult teaches their followers that Jesus was not the Eternal Son, that He, like all other mortals, was a created being. They deny Jesus was deity while he lived on earth as a man.

“We shall see subsequently, when we come to consider particularly the ransom feature of his work, that it was absolutely necessary that he should be a man -- neither more nor less than a perfect man -- because it was man that sinned, man who was to be redeemed, and the divine law required that man’s life should pay the redemption price for a man’s life.” (Studies in the Scriptures, Volume V).

 

On the surface, this teaching sounds harmless.  The Word was given flesh and walked among us, and it is easy to identify this word “flesh” with “human.”  But if you dig a little deeper into their theology, we find that their doctrine denies the deity of Christ in order to support teachings that stray from God’s Word.

“It was not until the time of his consecration even unto death, as typified in his baptism -- at thirty years of age (manhood, according to the Law, and therefore the right time to consecrate himself as a man) -- that he received the earnest of his inheritance of the divine nature.” (Matt. 3:16, 17)” (Ibid, Series I).

 

This will sound very familiar to some in the Branham movement.  Branham’s new version of Jesus included this teaching from the Jehovah’s Witnesses for the beginning portion of the life of Christ, while combining George Lamsa’s version of Jesus during the crucifixion on the cross.  Both beginning and ending of the life of Christ in Branham’s version were mortal, and from the baptism until the garden of Gethsemane, Branham included a mixture of the Son of God and a prophet who could do nothing without seeing a vision from the Father.

“And there He come out. There was nothing. And then here come the Logos. That looked like a halo hanging yonder. No man has seen God at any time now, eye to eye. And here's the Logos. Looks like It's a supernatural Being. It's a Halo. That's the Son of God. Not eternal Sonship, 'cause the words don't go good together. That's Catholic doctrine, but... Eternal, how could it be a Sonship and be eternal? If He's a Son, he'd had to have a beginning of time. Eternal's forever. See? So eternal Sonship, there's no such a word to make that sensible. But it was the Logos that went out of God.”

53-0611 SHOW.US.THE.FATHER

“He never did nothing until first He saw the Father show Him that in a vision. That made Him the God-prophet.”

63-0604  JESUS.CHRIST.THE.SAME.YESTERDAY.TODAY.AND.FOREVER

“The Spirit left Him, in the garden of Gethsemane. He had to die, a man.”

65-0418M IT.IS.THE.RISING.OF.THE.SUN

This theology was not created by William Branham.  It was the replication of others long before.  And while Branham promoted himself as the “Seventh Angel” that would restore the church back to the “original faith,” we find that these teachings do not fully align with scripture.

As with any leader who pulls an unsuspecting victim out of the Body of Christ and into a religious cult loosely based on Christianity, these men back these false doctrines with scripture.  Verses here are taken, verses there are used, and they are combined into a magic “potion of scripture” that results in a different Jesus.

But when we examine the Bible in full, we find that this “man god” version of Jesus does not fit with scripture.  It is like finding a puzzle piece from a different puzzle altogether and trying to force it into that last remaining piece.  No matter how hard you push, it still will not fit.

The word “Elohim” used in the book of Genesis is plural for the word “God.”  That does not mean that there is more than one God, but describes the nature of God as being different than that of a human.  While our minds can only comprehend the way that we were made, the mind of God understands all.  Genesis, correctly translated in every accepted version of the Bible reads, “Let US make man in OUR image.”

And were it not for Adam’s loneliness, we would likely have a better understanding of God.  The original creation included both male and female in one earthly body.  That body was separated.  While many believe that Eve was created from the bone of a human rib, the original word (Strongs 6763, tsela) describes the side, not the internal bone structure.

This word is also used to describe the side of a hill in 2 Samuel 16:13, the side of the enclosing temple in 1 Kings 6:5-6, the side of Ezekiel’s temple in Ezekiel 41:5, and the sides of many other things throughout the Bible. 

Eve was a part of man, in the likeness of God, just as Jesus was a part of the Father, in the likeness of God.

If we examine the opening of the book of John again, we understand that the Word, Christ, was in the beginning WITH God, and yet He WAS God.  And this Word, Christ, created the world for Himself.

“He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

John 1:2-3

This false doctrine, denying the Eternal Son of God denies many other scriptures throughout the Bible.  Paul writes in Galatians that the Christ Child was born as the Son of God:

“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law”

Galatians 4:4

And while the Jehovah’s Witness doctrine that Branham tried to re-establish did not include a Son that was part of the Father, the Old Testament describes the coming King as the Son of God.  These scriptures are largely overlooked by the followings of both cult faiths.

Psalms 2 says,

“He who sits in the heavens laughs;  the Lord holds them in derision.  Then he will speak to them in his wrath, them in his fury, saying,  As for me, I have set my King Zion, my holy hill.  I will tell of the decree:  The Lord said to me, ‘You are my Son; today I have begotten you.’  Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.  You shall break them with a rod of iron dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.”

If we take a quick walk through scripture, we find that all Old Testament scripture points to Jesus Christ:

If you still ascribe to the Gnostic “Serpent’s Seed” doctrine that Branham tried to re-establish, you will likely have a different understanding of this verse, but Genesis 3:15 describes the Christ Child, and God told Satan that Jesus could crush his head:

“And I will put enmity you and the woman, between your offspring and hers;

he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

Genesis 3:15

When Jacob blessed his sons, he foretold of the coming of Christ:

“The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his.”

Genesis 49:10

God gave Nathan a prophecy of Christ that was given to comfort David, and He described the coming Kingdom and the throne of Christ:

“When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom.  He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”

2 Samuel 7:12-13

 

Micah describes the eternal Son of God.  His origins were not that of John’s Baptism according to Micah, Jesus had origins that were from ‘ancient times.’:

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans[a] of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”

Micah 5:2

The word “Immanuel” correctly translated means “God with us.”  Many are familiar with the prophecy of Isaiah – it’s repeated by many during Christmas time celebration.  But if we examine the prophecy in full, we find that this Christ Child was the eternal Son of God.  God with us.

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will call him Immanuel.”

Isaiah 7:14

 

When Isaiah prophesied about John the Baptist, he described the voice crying in the wilderness preparing the way for the Almighty God, not man:

“A voice of one calling: In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.  And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together.  For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Isaiah 40:3-5

Again, Isaiah tells us plainly that Jesus is God, not man.  Isaiah describes both the Father and the Son in one single verse:

“For your Maker is your husband—the Lord Almighty is his name—the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.”

Isaiah 54:5

The list of scriptures in the Old Testament that describe Jesus are countless.  Even many of the stories themselves are a representation of the coming Christ.  Entire books, like the Song of Solomon, are a parable of the Love of God that is shown through His Eternal Son, Jesus Christ.

But before leaving the subject, listen to what Isaiah says next in Isaiah 54.  This prophecy is one that all Christians should read.  It describes their faith, from the mouth of God through the voice of Isaiah:

“To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth.  So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again.  Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,”  says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

Isaiah 54

Notice.  “I have sworn not to be angry with you, never rebuke you again.”  “My unfailing Love for you will not be shaken, nor my covenant of peace be removed.”

God’s message is a message of Love.  His Word is a love letter to us.  His Son is that Word. 

These leaders that come to sever the Body of Christ do not want this portion of scripture, because Christ is the new High Priest forever.  If their followers knew that Christ was the High Priest, then there would be no need for themselves to be their leader – their followers instead would accept the Holy Spirit as their guide. 

Branham took two verses that describe parallels in the story of Noah, and mixed them into a deadly “potion of scripture.”  One verse described God’s undying love and devotion to even a small family, though the world was being wiped clean from all life. 

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.”

1 Peter 3:18-20

This verse, describing God’s Love, was combined with one describing God’s wrath:

“And he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it.  And they will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them.  For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day.  But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.  Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man.  They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.  Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all—so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed.”

Luke 17:22-30

It’s describing surprise!  You’re going to be caught unaware! 

But listen to how Branham combined these two, one telling of God’s patience, Love and devotion, and one telling us, “Please do not be caught unaware!”

Branham says this:

“Jesus said, ‘As it was in the days of Noah, wherein eight souls were saved, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of man.’ ‘In the days of Lot, where three was brought out of Sodom, at that day...’ Now there's already a group already out, remember. ‘But, as it was then, when the Son of man will be manifested.’ Look what a day, look where we're living!

65-0801M  THE.GOD.OF.THIS.EVIL.AGE

But Jesus did not say this!  Jesus did not say that there were only going to be “eight souls.”  Jesus was telling us not to listen to men who would rise to tell us that their “message” was the coming of the Son of Man!

If you have been persuaded by one of these cult leaders to believe in a different Jesus, you should have no need to fear learning about the Real Jesus Christ.  You’ve had His Word all along – you’ll find it in your Bibles. 

This is not some book that contains an endless number of rules that you must abide by in order to earn your own salvation.  It is not a list of “don’ts” as has been taught by the Pentecostal faith. 

This is God’s Love letter to you.  This is God’s Gift.  All you need is to accept it by faith.  It is by grace that you are saved, through faith in Jesus Christ, and not of yourselves.  It is a Gift from God above.

The best conclusion we could give to this brief summary of scriptures declaring Christ as the Eternal Son of God is given by the Apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost.  These words, these words alone, had the power to save three thousand.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ has the power to save.

 “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.  Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.  This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses.  Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.  For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,

‘The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’ Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

Acts 2:29-36