John 1

John 1: The Role of Jesus Christ

                “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made… In him was life; and the life was the light of men… There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:1-12)

                Jesus Christ is the Word, and He was with His Father, before the World was. God calls Prophets to declare the word, but the prophets were not received in their own land. Jesus, the Son of God was sent to bring Light unto those who would believe, and even He, the Son of God, even Jesus Christ was rejected!

John cries out as a Special Witness, that He came among them, in flesh to bring Light and truth, where Moses only brought the Law. John goes on to say that “No man hath seen God at any time…” (John 1:18). But what is important to know is that John was saying that No man has seen God with their natural eyes. We read that when Moses spoke to God, he had to take his vail off, so he could see God with his spiritual eyes. (Exodus 34:33-34) The scriptures also discuss man seeing God, when God wants Himself to be revealed and seen: (Isaiah 6, Psalms 11:7, Genesis 32:30 and Acts 7:55-56)

John declares that one “…whose shoe’s latchet… [HE] …is not worthy of to unloose.” (John 1:27) shall come and be baptized of him and shall take upon himself the sins of the World. Those who were seeking Jesus, when they found Him, exclaimed: “…Behold the Lamb of God!” (John 1:36) and after following Him for a bit, Jesus turned to them and said; “…What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? He saith unto them Come and see…” (John 1:38-39)

Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, Philip, and Peter went and found Nathanael to tell him that they had found the Messiah and when Nathanael goes to ask Jesus how He knows him, Jesus tells him that He saw him by the fig tree. With such little evidence, Nathanael believes and tells Jesus; “…thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.” (John 1:49) Jesus, shocked, tells Nathanael; “…Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? Thou shalt see greater things than these.” (John 1:50)

                Because Nathanael believed, with little to no evidence that Jesus is the Christ, Jesus promises him more blessings and greater signs from heaven. We need to be like Nathanael and believe without having to know everything, if we do… we will see even greater signs from God!

Psalms 17-18

Psalms 17-18

Chapter 17: The Righteous Shall See God

A Prayer of David.

                “…O Lord, attend unto my cry, give ear to my prayer…” (Psalms 17:1)

Like most of the Psalms, David opens by asking God to hear him. He goes on to say that he has “…kept… from the paths of the destroyer” (Psalms 17:4) and he asks God to “Keep… [him]… as the apple of the eye, [and to] hide… [him]… under the shadow of… [God’s]…wings.” (Psalms 17:8)

                The men (and women) of the world are wicked, but those who are righteous “…will behold… [God’s]…face in righteousness” (Psalms 17:15). We learn that the righteous will in fact see God when they die (face to face). Here we can also learn that God is like us, after all we were created in his image!

David closes with a very interesting statement; “…I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.” (Psalms 17:15). In other words, when David dies and become resurrected again (in the resurrection) shall “awake” with the likeness of God!

What does that mean? Well we already know that we are created in God’s likeness, therefore God has a body of flesh and bones like we do. But we also know that God is still above us, we are not God. However, we can become “like” God in the sense that our end goal is perfection, to become like our Father in Heaven.

If we are faithful, and live in righteousness then when we awake, we will become like our Father in Heaven, a god. Notice how the “god” is not capitalized? Because God is our Father, we can become like Him, but NOT become Him. We have the ability to become “gods” but not become THE God.

Chapter 18: The Lord is Perfect

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who spake unto the Lord the words of this song in the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: And he said,

Most of the Psalms are relatively short, however this is a long Psalm; there only happen to be three Psalms longer (78, 89, and 119). Its length is well suited to its theme, as described in the title. The title itself is long, with only one longer (Psalm 60).

David starts by telling us in the title that the Psalm was written for God. He tells us why he was writing the Psalm and for what period in history… which includes not only the immediate aftermath of Saul’s death (1 Samuel 31; 2 Samuel 1), but also of the time leading to David’s enthronement (2 Samuel 2-5) David also tells us about Saul. This Psalm can be compared to the Psalm sung by David at the very end of his life (2 Samuel 22). It is likely that David composed this song as a younger man and while in his old age, David could look back with great gratitude and sing this song again!

“I WILL love thee, O Lord, my strength.” (Psalms 18:1)

This was a bold and triumphant declaration made in a season of great triumph. It is true that David decided to love the Lord; but David also felt more compelled to love the Lord who delivered him from his enemies!

“In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple…” (Psalms 18:6)

Although, the temple of Solomon was to be built many years later, the city of Jerusalem wasn’t even in Israeli control when David wrote this (2 Samuel 5:6-10). Yet David knew that God had a temple, a heavenly temple that was the model for the tabernacle and the later temple (Exodus 25:9, 40), and that God heard him from his holy temple.

“The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands…” (Psalms 18:20). The Lord will reward those who are not only righteous, but who have clean hands. This means that they had faith in God, enough to follow ALL of His commandments.

David once again repeats this same declaration of rewards for the righteous 3 verses later. This of course is strongly favoring that Salvation comes through Faith AND WORKS!  Salvation is in fact a FREE gift, in that sense having faith will get you salvation! However, faith includes works. If you have faith in someone, it means that you have faith in what they stand for. Following the commandments of God, requires work; “…faith, if it hath not works, is dead…” (James 2:17)

David proclaims that “The Lord liveth; and blessed by my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted” (Psalms 18:46)

David knows that the “rock” was not a person, but more of an idea. If you have that rock, which is strong and hard to break…, i.e. your faith in the Lord and his strength (as a rock) you will build a foundation upon that rock that cannot be torn down! David ends his Psalm by giving thanks to the Lord for his deliverance!

Job 19-20

Job 19-20

Chapter 19: In the flesh we will see God

Job laments his comfortless affliction.

“How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words?” (Job 19:2)

Job answered Bildad with a familiar complaint, that his friends were unsympathetic tormentors of his soul. Job was steadfast in his refusal to agree with his friends that he had caused his crisis by some remarkable sin and refusal to repent. Job insisted to his friends that he was not a guilty victim before a God.

“Oh that my words were now written! Oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock forever!” (Job 19:23-24)

Job seemed to have no sense that his own personal tragedy and drama would indeed be written in a book, to be for the benefit of countless others through succeeding generations. His words and life were indeed written with an iron pen and lead, forever!

               “For I know my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God” (Job 19:25-26)

Not only are verses 25-26 “Scripture Mastery” scriptures, but show the brilliant faith in Job’s otherwise dark and bleak background of crisis and suffering. Perhaps as he considered that future generations would indeed look at his life and words, it stirred him to a triumphant proclamation of faith.

Chapter 20: The inheritance of Good and Evil

Zophar answers Job and describes his turmoil.

“…my thoughts cause me to answer… Knowest thou not this of old… That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment? Though his excellency mount up to the heavens, and his head reach unto the clouds” (Job 20:2-6) 

Zophar insisted that Job’s defense in the previous chapters made him anxious and caused turmoil within him. Zophar explained that whatever good or triumph the wicked seem to enjoy, it is all quickly passing. It is only for a moment, and the wicked man will perish forever.

Zophar argued that though the wicked man might enjoy things for a while, God surely brings His judgment against him so that all can see.

 

Exodus 33-34

Exodus 33-34

Chapter 33: Face to Face

The Lord promises to be with Israel and drive the people out of the land. The Tabernacle is moved from the camp.

Throughout much of the story of Moses we see him speaking with God and at times it appears as if he is speaking directly to God as if he would to another man. So the question is, Does Moses actually see God? Can any man see God for that matter?

Has anyone seen God? In John 1:18; it says: “No man hath seen God at any time…”

That seems pretty straightforward right? If this is true, why does it say in Exodus 33:11; “And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto a friend…”

Doesn’t that clearly state that Moses did in fact see God? Well let’s examine a little further… in the same chapter of Exodus 33, we read: “…thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me and live.” (Exodus 33:20)      

That seems a bit contradictory, right? Because many people have seen God…

Acts 7:55-56: “But he (Stephen), being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and saw the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.”

Numbers 11:8: “With him (Moses) I speak mouth to mouth…”

Genesis 32:30: “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seeen God face to face, and my life is preserved”

Isaiah 6: Isaiah sees God!

The above are just a few examples of people seeing God and speaking with him. So if this is true, why does John 1:18 say no man has seen God? -OR- Why does Exodus 33:20 say that no man can see God and live? Because Jacob/Israel saw God and his “life was preserved”, how is that possible?

The truth: Any person that God wants to speak with or permits to see him is his choice. After all God is all knowing and all power, why can we say that man can “not see him”, if we were to say that would we be speaking for God?  So the question remains, why does the Bible say that men can see him and then says that no one can see him, and no one can live after seeing him? Because the Bible is not perfect, face it. I love the Bible, I know that it was written by men, no doubt, inspired by God, but corrupted and changed over time.

Luckily we have modern prophets today! Joseph Smith translated parts of the King James Version to correct what was possibly mis-written, taken out or changed with time.

Here is Exodus 33:20, King James Version compared to the King James Version – Joseph Smith Translation:

KJV: “And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.”

KJV-JST: “And he said unto Moses, Thou canst not see my face at this time, lest mine anger be kindled against thee also, and I destroy thee, and thy people; for there shall no man among them see me at this time, and live, for they are exceedingly sinful. And no sinful man hath at anytime, neither shall there be any sinful man at any time, that shall see my face and live”

That makes a lot more sense, no SINFUL man can see God and live. But for those who are righteous and chosen of God can see God, if he permits them. That explains why Jacob was preserved after seeing God “face to face”. In face the KJV-JST elaborates on John 1:18; “…no man hath seen God at any time, except he hath borne record of the Son…”

To me this is a very interesting subject, especially in today’s world where most people either do not believe in God or believe that he is a God of only wrath and destruction. God loves us so much that he calls Prophets, and through those prophets we can be guided, just like the Israelites were guided through Egypt by Moses. God does in fact speak with us, through is prophets, administering angels and through personal revelation.

Chapter 34: Moses in Mt. Sinai = Veil

Moses goes up Mt. Sinai to speak with the Lord. During his visit, the Lord reminded him that him and his congregation (the children of Israel) are to not make any graven image or worship other gods, because the Lord God of Israel is a “…jealous God:” (Exodus 34:14). He also reminds him about the Passover and the importance of the Sabbath day, to keep it as a holy day (Exodus 34:21).

Moses spent 40 days and 40 nights with God, where God also created new tablets containing the 10 commandments, because he had broken the other tablets. In this chapter, we may have learned how a normal person can see God without “perishing”. It says that when Moses spoke with God, the skin on his face “…shone while he talked to him” (Exodus 34:29). After Moses comes down from the Mount, “…all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone…” (Exodus 34:30).

“And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face. But when Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he took the vail off, until he came out…” (Exodus 34:33-34)

It is my personal opinion, based on the scriptures I have presented for chapters 33 and 34 of Exodus, that…

  • NO one can see God, unless they are righteous and chosen to be seen by him.
  • NO one can see God with their natural eyes, until the “veil” be taken from their eyes.
  • NO SINFUL man or woman can see God.