Word of God made flesh

The Word of God made flesh.

 

259. The Word of God made flesh through the manifestations of God: John tells us that in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. CHRISTIANITY: John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:2 “The same was in the beginning with God.” John also tells us that the word was made flesh and dwelt among us: John 1:14 “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.” This of course is in reference to the coming of Christ for Christ is considered to be the word of God. This is symbolic of course for Christ was a man physical in nature.

“The Reality of Christ, Who is the Word of God, with regard to essence, attributes and glory, certainly precedes the creatures. Before appearing in the human form, the Word of God was in the utmost sanctity and glory, existing in perfect beauty and splendor in the height of its magnificence. When through the wisdom of God the Most High it shone from the heights of glory in the world of the body, the Word of God, through this body, became oppressed, so that it fell into the hands of the Jews, and became the captive of the tyrannical and ignorant, and at last was crucified.”

(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 116)

It is by the wording of these passages found in John that some people consider Christ to be God on earth, because John states that God is the word and through Christ the word became flesh, which as I stated earlier is a symbolic statement. It is also through these statements that some people argue for the existence of the holy trinity which is: CHRISTIANITY: Matthew 28:19 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” the father, son and spirit. It is this three in one declaration that has some people fighting with one another about who Christ really is and what he really was, while others say it is all just foolishness and don’t believe in Christ or God. But, if we look at what Christ has to say about this he never claims to be God on this earth, but stresses that God is in heaven: Matthew 18:10 “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.” It stands to reason that God would have to be in heaven, not on this earth, for the angels to always behold Him in heaven. Matthew 23: 9 “And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.” Christ clearly makes distinction here by stating that no one currently on the earth is worthy of the title of father, and only God who is in heaven should be called Father. Matthew 5:48 “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Mark 13:32 “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” Christ clearly differentiates himself from God, here, stating that the son doesn’t know all that the Father (God) knows, which implies that the Father and the son are not physically the same person.

“God is almighty, but His greatness cannot be brought within the grasp of human limitation. We cannot limit God to a boundary. Man is limited, but the world of Divinity is unlimited. Prescribing limitation to God is human ignorance. God is the Ancient, the Almighty; His attributes are infinite.”

(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 274)

JUDAISM: Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent:” CHRISTIANITY: John 4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” Christ says it best here; God is a spirit not a creation of man’s imagination. God is not a man, nor would pure perfection, which is what God is, ever seek to become imperfection which is what coming into this world would be:

“God is pure perfection, and creatures are but imperfections. For God to descend into the conditions of existence would be the greatest of imperfections; on the contrary, His manifestation, His appearance, His rising are like the reflection of the sun in a clear, pure, polished mirror.”

(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 113)

God is in a state of perfection existing in heaven. God is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient: God is everywhere at once, all encompassing, all knowing the all wise. It would be inconceivable that such might and greatness, the universe over, would consent to become packaged in the form of an ordinary human being.

What John means by his statement the word became flesh: CHRISTIANITY: John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,” is that in Christ we saw the attributes of God almighty. In Christ we found the essences of God, we saw the perfections of God at work and we saw God shine in Christ the same way we would see the sun reflected in a mirror that is pointed at the sun. In Christ we saw God, but what we saw was the reflection of God. 2 Corinthians 4:4 “Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” God did not physically come down to this earth to be in Christ the same way that the sun did not come down from the heavens to be in the mirror. The mirror is a reflector of the sun when the mirror is pointed at the sun. In the same way Christ is a reflector of God when he is focused on God. This way Christ was the word in the flesh because God was the word and in Christ we saw God or we heard and saw the word of God, because Christ was the image of God. Colossians 1:12 “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:” Colossians 1:13 “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:” Colossians 1:15 “Who is the image of the invisible God,”

“The reality of divinity is sanctified above this degree of knowing and realization. It has ever been hidden and secluded in its own holiness and sanctity above our comprehending. Although it transcends our realization, its lights, bestowals, traces and virtues have become manifest in the realities of the prophets, even as the sun becomes resplendent in various mirrors. These holy realities are as reflectors, and the reality of divinity is as the sun which although it is reflected from the mirrors, and its virtues and perfections become resplendent therein, does not stoop from its own station of majesty and glory and seek abode in the mirrors; it remains in its heaven of sanctity. At most it is this, that its lights become manifest and evident in its mirrors or manifestations. Therefore its bounty proceeding from them is one bounty but the recipients of that bounty are many. This is the unity of God; this is oneness; — unity of divinity, holy above ascent or descent, embodiment, comprehension or idealization; — divine unity. The prophets are its mirrors; its lights are revealed through them; its virtues become resplendent in them, but the Sun of Reality never descends from its own highest point and station. This is unity, oneness, sanctity; this is glorification whereby we praise and adore God.”

(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section)

“The Word was with God.’ The Christhood means not the body of Jesus but the perfection of divine virtues manifest in Him. Therefore, it is written, ‘He is God.’ This does not imply separation from God, even as it is not possible to separate the rays of the sun from the sun. The reality of Christ was the embodiment of divine virtues and attributes of God. For in Divinity there is no duality. All adjectives, nouns and pronouns in that court of sanctity are one; there is neither multiplicity nor division. The intention of this explanation is to show that the Words of God have innumerable significances and mysteries of meanings — each one a thousand and more.”

(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 154)

“Know that there are two natures in man: the physical nature and the spiritual nature. The physical nature is inherited from Adam, and the spiritual nature is inherited from the Reality of the Word of God, which is the spirituality of Christ. The physical nature is born of Adam, but the spiritual nature is born from the bounty of the Holy Spirit. The first is the source of all imperfection; the second is the source of all perfection.” “See, after the time of Christ, through the power of the love of God, how many nations, races, families and tribes came under the shadow of the Word of God.”

(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, pp. 118 and 301)

“The Sun of Reality revealed itself from the Mosaic mirror. The people who were sincere accepted and believed in it. When the same Sun shone from the Messianic mirror, the Jews who were not lovers of the Sun and who were fettered by their adoration of the mirror of Moses did not perceive the lights and effulgence’s of the Sun of Reality resplendent in Jesus; therefore, they were deprived of its bestowals. Yet the Sun of Reality, the Word of God, shone from the Messianic mirror through the wonderful channel of Jesus Christ more fully and more wonderfully. Its effulgence’s were manifestly radiant, but even to this day the Jews are holding to the Mosaic mirror. Therefore, they are bereft of witnessing the lights of eternity in Jesus.”

(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 115)

CHRISTIANITY: Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 11:3 “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Luke 4:4 “And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” Luke 4:32 “And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.” Ephesians 6:17 “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:” 1 Thessalonians 1:5 “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.” Hebrews 1:3 “Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;”

“GOD sends Prophets for the education of the people and the progress of mankind. Each such Manifestation of God has raised humanity. They serve the whole world by the bounty of God. The sure proof that they are the Manifestations of God is in the education and progress of the people. The Jews were in the lowest condition of ignorance, and captives under Pharaoh when Moses appeared and raised them to a high state of civilization. Thus was the reign of Solomon brought about and science and art were made known to mankind. Even Greek philosophers became students of Solomon’s teaching. Thus was Moses proved to be a Prophet.” “After the lapse of time the Israelites deteriorated, and became subject to the Romans and the Greeks. Then the brilliant Star of Jesus rose from the horizon upon the Israelites, brightening the world, until all sects and creeds and nations were taught the beauty of unity. There cannot be any better proof than this that Jesus was the Word of God.”

(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Abdu’l-Baha in London, p. 42)

The Word of God became flesh through the teachings of Jesus Christ when he was on this earth, but what needs to be understood though is that the word of God became manifest through all the manifestations that God has sent to this world in every dispensation not only in the days of Christ.

Christianity: John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” 1:2 “The same was in the beginning with God.” 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,”

“Today nothing but the power of the Word of God which encompasses the realities of things can bring the thoughts, the minds, the hearts and the spirits under the shade of one Tree. He is the potent in all things, the vivifier of souls, the preserver and the controller of the world of mankind. Praise be to God, in this day the light of the Word of God has shone forth upon all regions, and from all sects, communities, nations, tribes, peoples, religions and denominations, souls have gathered under the shadow of the Word of Oneness and have in the most intimate fellowship united and harmonized!”

(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 296)

Therefore all of God’s holy manifestations are united under the all encompassing authority of God’s Holy Word and are, therefore, all expressions of His Holy Word, and this can be verified by studying the various writings of God. We can start with Moses then move forward. Moses: Deuteronomy 18:15 “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me;” 2 Chronicles 35:6 “The Word of the LORD by the hand of Moses.”

Jesus Christ: John 1:14 “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.” 1:15 “John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake.” 2 Timothy 2:8 “Remember that Jesus Christ…, the word of God, is not bound.”

Muhammad:  “Allah! there is no god but He and whose word can be truer than Allah’s?” “Your Word is the truth And Prophets (Peace be upon them) are true; And Muhammad is true,” “And Allah by His Words doth prove and establish His truth, however much the Sinners may hate it!”

(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 4, 10 and Hadith, Bukhari Vol 2, Book 21, # 221)

“Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah, and His Word.” 29. “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; (and therefore His word); many were the Messengers that passed away before him.”

(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surahs 4 and 48)

Zoroaster: “O pure, holy Spitama!” (Zarathushtra) “Of this libation of mine thou shalt drink, thou who art an Athravan, who hast asked and learnt the revealed law, who art wise, clever, and the Word incarnate.”

(The Zend-Avesta, Khorda Avesta – Book of Common Prayer pt. 1)

Krishna “Krishna. Learn now, dear Prince! how, if thy soul be set Ever on Me- still exercising Yog, Still making Me thy Refuge- thou shalt come Most surely unto perfect hold of Me. I will declare to thee that utmost lore, Whole and particular, which, when thou knowest, Leaveth no more to know here in this world.” “Of many thousand mortals, one, perchance, Striveth for Truth; and of those few that strive- Nay, and rise high- one only- here and there- Knoweth Me, as I am, the very Truth.” “Earth, water, flame, air, ether, life, and mind, And individuality- those eight Make up the showing of Me, Manifest.” “These be my lower Nature; learn the higher, Whereby, thou Valiant One! this Universe Is, by its principle of life, produced; Whereby the worlds of visible things are born As from a Yoni. Know! I am that womb: I make and I unmake this Universe: Than me there is no other Master, Prince! No other Maker! All these hang on me As hangs a row of pearls upon its string. I am the fresh taste of the water; I The silver of the moon, the gold o’ the sun, The Word of worship in the Veds, the thrill That passeth in the ether,”

(Hindu, Bhagavad Gita (Edwin Arnold tr) chapter 7 and Krishna, The word of worship in the Vedas)

 Buddha:  “Buddha, the Word,” “He speaks such words (the teachings of God) as are gentle, soothing to the ear, loving, going to the heart,” (a healing medicine for the heart). “Fine words are fruitless in a man who does not act in accordance with them.” “Fine words bear fruit in a man who acts well in accordance with them.”

((Buddha- the Word, The Eightfold Path), Buddhist, Dhammapada – Sayings of the Buddha 1 (tr. J. Richards))

Adam:Thou hast spoken with Thy Word (Adam) and hast commanded us with Thy commandment,” (Sabeanism, Ginza Rba- chapter 76)

The Bab: “Recognize then the station of thy Son Who is none other than the mighty Word of God.”

(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 50)

“His proof,” he declared, “is His Word; His testimony, none other than the testimony with which Islam seeks to vindicate its truth.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 90)

The Bahá’í Faith: In the Word of God there is still another unity, the oneness of the Manifestations of God, His Holiness Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. This is a unity divine, heavenly, radiant, merciful; the one reality appearing in its successive manifestations. For instance, the sun is one and the same but its points of dawning are various. During the summer season it rises from the northern point of the ecliptic; in winter it appears from the southern point of rising. Each month between it appears from a certain zodiacal position. Although these dawning-points are different, the sun is the same sun which has appeared from them all. The significance is the reality of prophethood which is symbolized by the sun, and the holy Manifestations are the dawning-places or zodiacal points.”

(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 258)

All the holy prophets were the word of God made flesh on this earth: Bahá’í Faith: “In the Word of God there is…..unity,” “the oneness of the Manifestations of God,”

The Bab: “The mighty Word of God.”

Moses: “The word of the LORD.”

Jesus: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,”

Muhammad: “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; (and therefore His word),”

Zoroaster: “The Word incarnate.”

Krishna: “The word of worship.”

Buddha: “Buddha, the Word,”

Adam: “Thou hast spoken with Thy Word,”

In the Word of God there is still another unity, the oneness of the Manifestations of God, His Holiness Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. This is a unity divine, heavenly, radiant, merciful; the one reality appearing in its successive manifestations.” “The light of the Word of God has shone forth upon all regions, and from all sects, communities, nations, tribes, peoples, religions and denominations, souls have gathered under the shadow of the Word of Oneness and have in the most intimate fellowship united and harmonized!”

(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Sections, pp. 258 and 296)