What the Bible says about
(From Forerunner Commentary)
"The Word" in this passage is translated from the Greek logos, which means "spokesman," "word," or "revelatory thought." It is a name there used for an individual Personage. But who or what is this Logos? Notice the explanation in verse 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."
When he was born as Jesus Christ, he was flesh and blood, materialistic, and could be seen, touched, and felt. But what was he? As God—as the Logos? That is answered in John 4:24, "God is a Spirit," and spirit is invisible. We know what was his form and shape as the human Jesus. But of what form and shape was He as the Word?
The Word, then, is a Personage who was made flesh—begotten by God, who through this later begettal became his Father. Yet at that prehistoric time of the first verse of John 1, the Word was not (yet) the Son of God. He divested himself of his glory as a Spirit divinity to be begotten as a human person. He was made God's Son, through being begotten or sired by God and born of the virgin Mary.
So here we find revealed originally two Personages. One is God. And with God in that prehistoric time was another Personage who also was God—one who later was begotten and born as Jesus Christ. But these two Personages were spirit, which is invisible to human eyes unless supernaturally manifested. Yet, at the time described in verse one, Jesus was not the Son of God, and God was not His Father.
Herbert W. Armstrong (1892-1986)
Fully Man and Fully God? (2001)
As this passage patently declares, the Word is Jesus Christ. He is God and is the Creator God of Genesis. “All things were made through Him.”
“Word” here is translated from the Greek logos. Strong's Concordance begins its definition as “something said.” In his Key Word Study Bible, Spiros Zodhiates begins his entry with “to speak.” Recall the method the Creator God used to create: He used words; He spoke. The Logos, the One who speaks, spoke this world and everything in it into existence (Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, and 26).
Paul also testifies in Colossians 1:16 that Christ was the Creator:
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
Paul repeats John's idea in John 1:1 of the world being created “through Him,” indicating that Another authorized the works carried out by the Word. In the same verse, John affirms that another God Being was present: “the Word was with God.” Genesis 1:26 begins, “Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image.'” The “Us” is the Word and the other God, the One we now know as the Father (John 17:5).
In His last message to His disciples, Jesus confirms that He continued to follow the creation pattern. He spoke the words given to Him by the other God, God the Father: “For I have given to them the words which You have given Me . . .” (John 17:8).
In Genesis 1, the Creator God is called “God,” translated from the Hebrew word elohim. While this Hebrew word is plural in form, it often appears in combination with singular verbs and adjectives, indicating a body, group, class, or family that contains more than one member. John's description agrees. Both were God, both with the surname Elohim, of the Family called God, which is currently composed of the Father and the Son, as revealed in the New Testament.
The God of the Old Testament
Paul adds in Colossians 1:16, "For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him." These verses reveal the Word, who became Jesus Christ, as the agent of creation, performing the work necessary to carry it out. He is not only God but with Another who is also God. "Through Him" implies that this other Being authorized the works of creation carried out by the Word. Does this not indicate two distinct Personalities, both called God by inspiration, working in harmony to accomplish a work?
John W. Ritenbaugh
God Is . . . What?
Paul extends the meaning of oracles here in two ways—in content and audience:
The content of the message includes the entire Law. Since the general context is circumcision (see chapter 2), we can conclude that the oracles given to the fathers included the covenants and hence the promises that attended them. The context does not limit the oracles to the revelation of God in the Pentateuch, but can include the Writings and Prophets as well.
The audience of the message includes those outside national Israel. Just before he writes of the oracles being committed to the Jews, Paul informs us that "he is not a Jew, who is one outwardly; . . . but he is a Jew, who is one inwardly" (Romans 2:28-29). Paul is speaking of the "Israel of God" (Galatians 6:16). In this regard, Peter makes an instructive statement in his conversation with the gentile Cornelius:
The word [logos] which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all—that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John [the Baptist] preached. (Acts 10:36-37)
Peter came to recognize that the oracles of God are for all men, God showing "no partiality" (verse 34).
The Oracles of God
These verses contain explicit references to types of events, people, and miracles in the Old Testament. This prophecy is constantly looking back to the Old Testament and the prophets and what they did to give us clues about the Two Witnesses. These identifications with the miracles of Elijah and Moses mean that we should look back into the Old Testament for further clues about them.
Certain things, like these miracles, have forced many commentators to conclude that the Two Witnesses will literally be these two prophets, Elijah and Moses. But God has never worked that way! God has never resurrected somebody from far in the past and brought him to a time of which he knew nothing about and given him authority to preach. Every time God acts, He uses someone from that particular time—from that particular era—who has grown up in that milieu, that environment, so that he is prepared for the work that he needs to do. If God is going to be consistent, He will not resurrect Moses and Elijah to do this end-time work. They would be "fish out of water." They would not understand what was happening in the world at the time of the end.
Some have said the Two Witnesses will be Enoch and Elijah because those two were both translated, and their deaths are unrecorded. The Bible does not say how they died, where they were buried, or even how long they lived. In verse 4 is another one, as it specifically compares the Two Witnesses to Zerubbabel and Joshua. It is also said that the Two Witnesses are like John and James, the sons of Zebedee, in having a fiery zeal to do a spectacular work for God.
My view is that the Two Witnesses are actual men of the time, not resurrected saints, not angels from heaven, not prophets brought back after living in heaven for a few thousand years. These are all things that people have thought they might be. However, they will fulfill types, roles, or patterns that God has used in the past to proclaim His Word and to pronounce His judgments.
It is rare that God springs something on us He has not done in the past or that He has not at least alluded to or prophesied about. He is consistent; He works the same way. This consistency is one way that we can have faith in Him because we can always recognize the way He works. We can be suspicious of anything that does not fit God's patterns because His mind is always the same. Malachi 3:6 says that He does not change. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).
For instance, God has worked in twos, pairs, or couples, if you will, from the beginning. The ultimate type is the Father and the Son (the Spokesman, the Logos, the One who appears, speaks, and manages affairs). They are the ultimate Dynamic Duo. While the Son is seen or heard, the Father is always there too—giving His guidance and governing from His throne. These pairs always work together to accomplish a goal.
When He created mankind, He created them as a pair—a male and female, and they worked together to build the human family. Married couples today do the same thing on a smaller scale. There are various other pairings in the Bible of prophets, kings, priests, or what have you throughout the Old and New Testaments.
Consider Deuteronomy 19:15: "One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established." God will need two witnesses to convict the world of sin at the time of the end. They will speak the same thing, and they will back it up with miracles and signs. This is the way God works. He follows His own law, and it says that two witnesses are needed. So, He provides them—Two Witnesses at the end time.
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Two Witnesses (Part Six)
The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment
Sign up for the Berean: Daily Verse and Comment, and have Biblical truth delivered to your inbox. This daily newsletter provides a starting point for personal study, and gives valuable insight into the verses that make up the Word of God. See what over 145,000 subscribers are already receiving each day.
We respect your privacy. Your email address will not be sold, distributed, rented, or in any way given out to a third party. We have nothing to sell. You may easily unsubscribe at any time.