The Meaning of John 1:14

 

And the Word[1] became flesh[2] and dwelt[3] among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. --- New King James version.

 



[1]               That is, GOD. Cp verses 1-3.

 

[2]               became flesh.  Here you have a pre-requisite indicated, for whether you have the background to understand what follows.  Because if The Word became flesh, it means that He existed BEFORE the event of His becoming flesh, as of course, verses 1-3 have already stated.  There are many professing “christians” who have openly denied “the pre-existence of Christ” on these forums, which means that they do not Believe in Him.  That is the meaning of 1 John 4:2-3. In my debates with such people, this denial has invariably been accompanied by the denial of many other essential Truths regarding Christ as well, and contradictions of many statements He made. Such people indicate that they are not saved, because salvation is Belief in Him.  In particular, that He is God (John 8:24), the Messiah, and the only Saviour.  (Luke 2:14). 

 

The Belief that the Lord Jesus Christ is God, and the Belief that He pre-existed His being “made flesh”, are inseparable --- you cannot Believe one without also Believing the other.  1 John 4:2-3. I posted several examples of Christ pre-incarnate appearing to men in the OT, such as Isaiah, Abraham, Lot, Moses, and especially, which I dwelt on, Manoah, in Judges 13, in a brief debate on the “Theology” forum in Bible Explorer. My opponent, whom I believe is an Unbeliever, showed no comprehension of any of these (1 Cor. 2:14), nor addressed any of them, to illustrate my point of this whole footnote.

 

That is why I say this Belief is pre-requisite to understanding what follows: if you do not Believe Christ is God, you are not saved (John 8:24 --- “If ye believe not that I AM. . .”); and if you are not saved, you do not have the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9, etc).  And if you do not have the Spirit of Christ you cannot discern nor receive the Truths of the Spirit of God. (1 Cor. 2:14), that is, His Word.

 

[3]               dwelt.  This is a serious error, followed by most “Bible Translations.”  The Greek word is eskhnwsen, which means much more than “dwelt.” It should be translated “tabernacled,” which points to what the Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23 --- see endnote 3) was about. 

 

A tabernacle means a temporary dwelling, such as a tent, or a “booth” as in Leviticus 23.  It symbolically, as God uses it, refers to a human body 

(cp 2 Corinthians 5:1-9, by Spiros Zhodiates, which I recently posted).  When Israel was in the wilderness, and before she had entered the Promised Land, the place where God communed (Exodus 22:21-22) with her was a tent, called the Tabernacle.  It was temporary; and would be replaced, after entry into the Promised Land, by a more permanent structure (but still temporary, as Israel should have learned through the succeeding ages, most recently in 70AD), called the Temple.  The Temple still signified, as did the Tabernacle in the wilderness, the place where God would meet, or “commune,” or “dwell” with His People.

 

The great significance of this is pointed out in John 2:19-21.  There, the Lord Jesus, misunderstood by the Jews (who later used this misunderstanding to bring about, and justify, His murder by them --- Mark 14:58) pointed out that His BODY

(cp Heb. 10:5!! --- and Heb. 1:6 with it --- and then Luke 2:14, which Heb.1:6 is pointing to, notwithstanding the commentators, and Matt. 1:23) WAS that Temple from and within which GOD Himself was “tabernacling” with His People.

 

This brief look at “dwelt,” or “tabernacled,” as it should have been rendered, points out that Christ was not born on Dec. 25, more strongly than all the other arguments about the date, but rather on Tishri 15, the “Feast of Tabernacles” (again, ref endnote 3), which in this year came on September 23.  THAT would have been the correct “christmas” date; see my post in “Theology” on this.

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Endnote 3 ---

It is important to understand what the Feasts of Leviticus 23 are about.

They are Prophecies, via rituals given to the Jews, of the Advent of Christ.  Precision Prophecies, where actual precise dates are given.

Thus, the Passover of Exodus 12, referred in Leviticus 23, gave the precise day of the year that The Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, was to be "selected" to be slain.  That Day, which was also the date that Messiah would arrive in Jerusalem (Daniel 9:25 and Zechariah 9:9), according to Exodus 12:3, was the 10th day of the Jewish month Nisan.  On the 10th day of Nisan, in 33 AD (Monday, March 31, AD 33), the Lord Jesus entered Jerusalem as both the Messiah, and as the Lamb of God to be slain (which is erroneously called "Palm Sunday").  Exodus 12:6, stated that four days later, on Nisan 14, the Lamb was to be slain (the Passover).  Four days later, the Lord Jesus was crucified (Daniel 9:26) , on Friday, April 3, AD 33. Leviticus 23:11 went on to specify that on Sunday, Nisan 16 (the "Third Day," the Christ would appear before the Father, on our behalf, as the Firstfruits from the dead, which will be completely fulfilled in the Rapture soon to come.  This is overly brief, here, of necessity.  I discuss it much more with proofs and evidences elsewhere.  ("The Three Days and Three Nights" etc).  So the Passover, and the Firstfruits and Pentecost were all fulfilled on precise dates.   

And so was the Feast of the Tabernacles, which points to the Day of His Birth.  This I cover a little in the "What You Didn't Get for Christmas" post.

That day was, therefore, Tishri 15 (Leviticus 23:34), which in this year as I stated, coincides with September 23.

It is interesting that Johannes Keppler ("the father of modern astronomy") had been interested, ever since he was a boy, in the story of "the Star of Bethlehem."  In 1604, he was observing a very rare astronomical phenomenon: a close grouping of the planets, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.  Such a grouping is called a conjunction: in this case, a "triple conjunction."  Christianity Today, the publication I first read this article in, about 50 years ago, pointed out that the word "star" could refer to any astronomical event to the ancients, not just to a star as we know it today.  

While Keppler was studying this conjunction, another very rare event occurred, the explosion of a supernova almost in their midst.  This spectacular event set Keppler again to thinking about "the star of Bethlehem."  He began calculating to see how often, and therefore, when, this triple conjunction occurs.  His calculations gave the result that it occurs once in every 805 years.  That meant that it occurred in 1604 - 805 = 799 AD, and, the time before that, in 799 - 805 = 7 BC!!!!  (1 BC to 1 AD is one year).  This indicated more precision and detail to be considered:  

A conjunction does not occur in the same area of the heavens each time, of course; it's successive occurrences will occur in different "constellations." This is a fact of significance to the ancient astrologers, who for one reason or another regarded each constellation of particular significance.  This is a fascinating study in itself, indicated in Genesis 1:14, where it is stated that God gave such significance to the stars ("let them be for signs, for seasons, for days, and for years").  The world's astrological religions are various corruptions of an original (see Dr. Bullinger's "The Witness of the Stars").

In 7 BC, the place where the conjunction occurred was in the constellation Pisces, which was known to those who were probably the ancestors of the magi ("wise men") as "the House of the Hebrews,"  "since occurrences there were believed to be of particular significance to the Jews."  

This conjunction, in 7 BC, had a triple phase!  The article pointed out that, because of complicated positions of the earth and the other planets in their apparent motions as seen from the earth, sometimes one of the planets will appear to reverse direction, and then go ahead again, causing three conjunctions to appear instead of just one.  And this happened in 7 BC.  

And the first phase of it occurred on the precise date of the Feast of the Tabernacles, in 7 BC, according to the article!!!  

The magi must have been jumping out of their skins with excitement (just as the shepherds did when it dawned on them that they were looking at their Creator in the manger in Bethlehem at that same moment).  Possibly the glory that shone round about them out in the field was associated with the Star the magi saw at that same moment something like 1000 miles away.  Why not?

A couple of more points: the magi who sought the King were almost certainly the descendants of the caste of magi whose lives were saved by Daniel in Babylon (and later Persia) in Daniel 2.  The words regarding them are the same.  When God gave King Nebuchadnezzar the dream of the colossal image signifying the coming history of the world from his time to the end (today, we are at the point of the Seven Toes of that image), he had sought and demanded that the magi and others explain it to him.  They could not, of course, which caused the king in a rage to decree the execution of all of them with their families.  Daniel was in a position to be included among them in this disaster.  When Daniel heard about it, he asked the king for time, and God would give him the answer Nebuchadnezzar sought.  God thus delivered them, and Nebuchadnezzar in awe of Daniel appointed him ruler of all his advisors, including these magi.  Certainly, Daniel must have taught them many things, including the sign that would appear in Pisces, heralding the Birth of the Messiah.  And they never forgot, until 600 years later when it took place.

They saw the sign in 7 BC, as above, which according to Matthew 2:16 was the moment of the Messiah's birth.  

After making great preparations, they made their way to Jerusalem to find out where He had been born (Matthew 2:2-3); and arrived two years after the star had appeared and gone.  Obviously, they were NOT "following the Star!"  Except for Matthew 2:9, which was a special miracle from God for them.

And they almost certainly did not find Him at Bethlehem, as I have discussed elsewhere. Most likely, at His home in Nazareth, 80 miles to the north.

Bob
Christ Died to Save You