The Mystery of the Word
According to tradition, he lived to be nearly 100 years old. One of the “sons of thunder,” he was given an apocalypse while in exile on the Isle of Patmos. His Gospel was recorded near the end of his long life and begins with a key understanding of who the Christ was. He was named John. It was John who would reveal the mystery of Christ as the physical representation of God’s Word — The Bible.
He began his testimony as follows:
John 1:-3: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Although having lyric beauty, a more profound truth is cryptically presented in these verses. In them is found a key to unlock the power of understanding the Bible. Just as most believers conclude that the Christian phrase “The Word,” is merely a metaphor for Jesus, a more hidden and mysterious meaning is obscured.
Traveling with two other disciples to the town of Emmaus near Jerusalem, shortly after Christ’s resurrection, Jesus appeared to John having a different appearance from that which the disciples would recognize. Though having a dissimilar look, Christ spoke the same words in the same manner as he had always done.
Taking bread, blessing it and giving it to them in the manner he had done before being crucified, the disciples eyes were opened. At that point, they realized that it was indeed their Master. Likewise at the sea of Tiberias, Christ again showed himself to the disciples in divergent form.
By the time John wrote his gospel, he understood that just as Christ’s Spirit appeared in an unusual vessel, his same Spirit was likewise was speaking through the disciples in their recorded words about him. John’s epiphany left him no room to doubt why Jesus told them to, “Abide in me, and I in you” (John 15:4) and also, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7). If he and the other disciples were “in Christ” and having his “Spirit,” their witness and testimony would bear the same Spirit and message the Messiah had born, through the “Word.”
Given this comprehension, we need look no further than the Bible for answers to life's complex problems. Every possible variable has been anticipated and articulated in this remarkable, living book. The essence of this understanding, is that the Bible is thoroughly imbued with the Spirit of our Savior. The Bible, God’s Word, is Christ. The two are inseparable. This concept has monumental implications for the believer.
We do indeed have with us, the same Jesus who walked with and led the apostles. The very spirit of prophecy with which they kept company, is as close as to us as our Bible. As he spoke directly to them, he will speak directly to us. If we read this book as though he is speaking only to us, we can achieve the same type of personal understanding as did the disciples.
As recorded in Revelation 19:10, the mighty angel who dictated these true sayings of God to the apostle. John reported this interaction:
"And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
In his book titled The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Chronicled: Book One, author I.M. Jacobson makes a case for the fact that Christ did indeed return to Earth a second time, as the King James Version Bible. That Christ’s second advent should be in the form of the Bible, ought not astonish the believer, yet few seem able to apprehend this concept. If this notion is foreign to the majority of Christians, is it not due to the fact that their leaders have been bound by the traditions of men?
That Christ’s second coming will be his final appearance is taught nowhere in the Bible. Jacobson concludes that this mystery remains hidden because, like the disciples, we do not expect him to appear in any form other than that which theologists have dictated. Thus, just as the Pharisees failed to recognize the Messiah in their time, our modern Pharisees seem to not recognize that he did return nearly 400 years ago.
At Christ’s first appearance, he did not come as a conquering King, but as a humble servant. At his second advent, he returned as the Word, a “Comforter” who would lead his people into all truth. Thus the question is raised: Will church leaders discern when he at last does come in power and great glory? Given the popular end-times apostasy that they will be “raptured” before the event, it seems likely that only a small remnant will recognize the Christ at his final return.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus.