Lesson 1 – The Word Was With God

Lesson 1 – The Word Was With God2016-11-27T17:36:59+00:00

Introduction

“Never man spake like this man” (John 7:46)–these words expressed the astonishment of individuals who listened to Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, for the first time. In a similar vein, a ruler in Israel told Him: “No man can do these miracles that Thou doest, except God be with him” (John 3:2). And another man confessed: “Truly this man was the Son of God (Mark 15:39). In this quarter, we will study and learn about “this Man,” Jesus Christ.

The life, work, and teachings of Jesus are the foundation of the plan of redemption. They are the center of the Holy Scriptures, the ultimate end of the law, and the fulfilment of all prophecy. What blessing and happiness are ours if He is the goal of our life! When Andrew, one of the first disciples, became acquainted with Him, he exclaimed: “We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ” (1 John 1:41). And another disciple, filled with joy, announced to a friend: “We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth” (John 1:45).

Jesus is the Lamb of God–the hope of salvation. He is our Redeemer, grant­ing everyone who comes to Him freedom from sin and death. He alone can help, because “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). His life is the greatest revelation of love, through which the gospel message reaches and conquers the hearts of men. Let us take Him as the Lord of our spiritual life and have Him beside us constantly. Christ gives power for the progress of His church all around the world. Let us follow His example and see very soon the fulfilment of our missionary service.

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrew 12:2)–this is the invitation of God’s word. He is the sun of righteousness which illuminates the entire world, and His great desire is that we reflect His light in our every word and action.

After Moses returned to the camp after spending time with God on Mount Sinai, his face shone with glory (Exodus 34:29). And after the disciples had learned from Jesus, even the rulers in Israel “took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13). This will also happen today if we will walk with the Sav­iour.
Dear brothers and sisters everywhere in the world, let us pray earnestly and constantly throughout this quarter that the teachings of the Saviour’s life that we study will be food for His church, that His flesh will become our flesh, and that His spirit will become our spirit. This is our sincere wish and prayer.

–The Brethren of the General Conference

Sabbath, January 3, 2009


“But while God’s Word speaks of the humanity of Christ when upon this earth, it also speaks decidedly regarding His preexistence. The Word existed as a divine being, even as the eternal Son of God, in union and oneness with His Father. From everlasting He was the Mediator of the covenant, the one in whom all nations of the earth, both Jews and Gentiles, if they accepted Him, were to be blessed. ‘ The Word was with God, and the Word was God.’ Before men or angels were created, the Word was with God, and was God.” –Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 247.

HIS PREEXISTENCE

1. What good news is contained in the Old Testament regarding the preexistence of Israel’s Ruler?
Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

“‘Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God’ (Ps. 90:2).… Here the preexistence of Christ …

[is] presented as living beams of light from the eternal throne. ‘Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: He hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek. But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting’ (Micah 5:1, 2)” –Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 248.

2. What did the prophet Isaiah affirm concerning His eternal existence?
Isaiah 9:5-6 For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.
6: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

“The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate–a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings. ‘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.’ John 1:1, 2. Christ, the Word, the only begot­ten of God, was one with the eternal Father–one in nature, in character, in purpose–the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. ‘His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.’ Isaiah 9:6. His ‘goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.’ Micah 5:2. And the Son of God declares concerning Himself: ‘ The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting…. When He appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him.’ Proverbs 8:22-30.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 34.

THE MESSAGE OF HIS PREEXISTENCE CONFIRMED 3. What does the Bible say about the Word at the beginning? What did He accomplish?
1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

“Jesus was to reveal God both to men and to angels. He was the Word of God–God’s thought made audible.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 19.

“Who is Christ? He is the only begotten Son of the living God. He is to the Father as a word that expresses the thought–as a thought made audible. Christ is the word of God. Christ said to Philip, ‘He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father.’ His words were the echo of God’s words. Christ was the likeness of God, the brightness of His glory, the express image of His person.” –Sons and Daughters of God, p. 21.

JESUS’ OWN TESTIMONY

4.   What did Jesus state about His preexistence?
Matthew 22:41­-46
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.
John 8:58
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am
“In speaking of His preexistence, Christ carries the mind back through dateless ages. He assures us that there never was a time when He was not in close fellowship with the eternal God. He to whose voice the Jews were then listening had been with God as one brought up with Him.” –The Signs of the Times, August 29, 1900.

5.   What does He call Himself on the last page of the Bible? Why?
Revelation 22:13
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

“Christ Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the Genesis of the Old Testa­ment, and the Revelation of the New. Both meet together in Christ. Adam and God are reconciled by the obedience of the second Adam, who accomplished the work of overcoming the temptations of Satan and redeeming Adam’s dis­graceful failure and fall.” –S.D.A. Bible Commentary, vol. 6, pp. 1092, 1093.

“All the great truths of the Scriptures center in Christ; rightly understood, all lead to Him. Let Christ be presented as the alpha and omega, the begin­ning and the end, of the great plan of redemption. Present to the people such subjects as will strengthen their confidence in God and in His Word, and lead them to investigate its teachings for themselves.” –Review and Herald, June 13, 1912.

IN HEAVEN BEFORE HIS INCARNATION

6.   What relationship existed between the Father and the Son in eternity?
John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 17:24
Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

“From the days of eternity the Lord Jesus Christ was one with the Father; He was ‘the image of God,’ the image of His greatness and majesty, ‘the out­shining of His glory.’” –The Desire of Ages, p. 19.

“The Lord Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, existed from eternity, a dis­tinct person, yet one with the Father. He was the surpassing glory of heaven. He was the commander of the heavenly intelligences, and the adoring homage of the angels was received by Him as His right. This was no robbery of God. ‘The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way,’ He declares, ‘before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth; while as yet He had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When He prepared the heavens, I was there: when He set a compass upon the face of the depth.’” –Review and Herald, April 5, 1906.

7.   What is recorded in the Scriptures about Him before He came to this earth?
John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Philippians 2:6
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
John 17:5
And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

Hebrew 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;

“Heavenly angels had seen the glory which the Son of God shared with the Father before the world was, and they had looked forward with intense interest to His appearing on earth as an event fraught with the greatest joy to all people.” –The Great Controversy, p. 313.
“When Christ passed within the heavenly gates, He was enthroned amidst the adoration of the angels. As soon as this ceremony was completed, the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples in rich currents, and Christ was indeed glorified, even with the glory which He had with the Father from all eternity.” –The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 38, 39.

FOR MEDITATION

A “… dangerous error is the doctrine that denies the deity of Christ, claim­ing that He had no existence before His advent to this world.… It cannot be entertained without the most unwarranted wresting of the Scriptures. It not only lowers man’s conceptions of the work of redemption, but undermines faith in the Bible as a revelation from God…. If men reject the testimony of the inspired Scriptures concerning the deity of Christ, it is in vain to argue the point with them…. None who hold this error can have a true conception of the character or the mission of Christ, or of the great plan of God for man’s redemption.” –The Great Controversy, p. 524.

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