THIS subject is not only infinitely deep, but sublimely glorious, and we shall only be able to give a hint here and there in calling attention to “the word” from several. standpoints. The apostle John tells us that “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” From this statement we understand “the word” to mean the sovereign, invisible power off God, displayed in the creation and formation of the world and all things in it, for immediately John said, “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” It is too much for us to separate between the Father and the Son in the two above statements from the apostle John. Hence in speaking of the Word, “in the beginning,” we have always had in mind the unity of the Father and the Son as the Savior put it when on earth: “I and my Father are one.” Really we have never been able to separate between them, except in the different offices occupied by them: the three one God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Therefore in speaking or writing of the Word, in the beginning, we always mean the one sovereign, omnipotent God, who spake and it was done, who commanded and it stood fast. The infinite power of the Word therefore was made manifest in the creation and formation of the world.
Now that we have ascribed power and wisdom to the Word as mentioned by John: “In the beginning was the Word,” we desire to present the same Word in the person of the Son, or “Word made flesh.” The same Word, or one God, who in the beginning so wonderfully and unquestionably displayed his almighty power, in the days of those men who should afterward be his witnesses, took upon him flesh and blood, being born of a woman. This Word was “God manifest in the flesh,” called in that office the Son of God. First, in the beginning, all power was in him, the Word, to create, or bring into existence, this world, with all its glory in nature. Second, as the Word made flesh, the incarnate Son of God had power to make the dead live, and to give salvation to all the chosen of God in him before the world began. As no sacrifice of earth could take away sin, God, the Word, became a man, the God-man, that he might, by the sacrifice of himself, pay all the debt (once for all) the elect of God lowed to both law and justice. He was justified in the Spirit, believed on in the world, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, received up into glory. The above was the complete and glorious work of the Word made flesh. Third, the same three one God, “the Word,” in the person of the Holy Ghost, is the Comforter and teacher of the Lord’s `people to-day, and shall ever be while the world stands.
We have now tried to present “the Word,” or one God, in three different offices, or persons, but we desire to make further reference to the terms “word “ and “word of God.” Often when the expressions “the word” and “the word of God” are used there is no direct reference intended to the incarnate Word, power and Godhead, but rather to the written word, or Scriptures. The Scriptures are the word of God. In this written word the Lord spake by the prophets to his people of his love for them, making many precious and gracious promises to them of salvation through the Seed of the woman, the Branch, the Blessing in the cluster, and so on. The New Testament Scriptures are God’s word to his people now, declaring that his love was made manifest in the gift of his Son when all were dead in sins, and that all promises are fulfilled in Christ. There is still another “word” we shall mention before closing, and that is the “preached word” by the called servants of the Lord. This word, or gospel, was designed by the Lord to comfort his people, and to establish them in the truth of the word; to separate them from Babylon with all her abominations, saying unto them, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord.”
We felt impressed to write briefly upon the different phases of “the word,” and hope it may help to avoid confusion sometimes when the terms “the word” and “the word of God” are used. We do not need to be told that the subject is too deep for us, and that we have only touched it here and there, but we know · that along these lines, as touching the mysteries of God, a hint to the wise unto salvation is sufficient. K.
Elder H. C. Kerr
Signs of the Times
Volume 87, No. 7
April 1, 1919