Daily Archives: February 26, 2015

What John Recorded

1:2: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, (RSV).

Or perhaps: “Who bare record of the word of God even to the testimony of Jesus Christ.” That is, the Word of God is the testimony of Jesus Christ.
When John speaks of “the Word of God,” he not only has in mind the concepts of the Greek logos, which has been so extensively discussed, but also the Hebrew ideas, not only of the creatively powerful Word, but also of the artistically beautiful Word of Light, of poetry, and music.

The Word, as Logos

The Word of God, as logos, is: “For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of him with whom we have to do,” (Hebrews 4:12-13, RSV).
The Word not only reveals the innermost Man and exposes him to God, but also reveals the deep things of God to the very spirit of Man.

The Word of God as Written Literature

Every word of God is literature in its highest and purest form. In Genesis 1:3 when God said: “Let there be Light,” He brought Light to light, bearing it forth. The New Testament writer must have had this in mind when he said: “…hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,” (2 Timothy 1:10. See also Rom. 2:7). Think of it!
When God forbade the use of the art forms of graven images, the effect was to divert the energy of this artistic expression into the only form allowed to the engravers, writing. Phonetic writing is the image of the spoken word, the spoken word made visible and durable.
In order that writing might not violate the commandment not to make any graven images, the characters could not be like those of the Egyptians, (and other ancient writing systems), hieroglyphic pictures of their idol gods, but had to be abstract designs. In fact, this requirement for abstraction necessitated the development of a phonetic script, that is, a “picture,” not of any creature in heaven, earth or sea, but an image of sound. It is therefore almost certain that Moses did indeed develop the principle of phonetic writing, as tradition would also have it, probably using the alphabet as a syllabary, which would have been phonetic for the Hebrew language of that time.
So when John bare record of the “Word of God” in the Book of Revelation, it is a powerful and beautiful poem about the loveliest subject, Jesus Christ.*

 1:2. “… the word of God…”

This verse tells us that the message given to John the Revelator, to which he became a witness, was the Word of God. That is, the Scriptures are the testimony of Jesus Christ Who is The Word Of God. The Scriptures, including the Book of Revelation, are to be interpreted as the testimony to Jesus as the Messiah, the Anointed One.

We are therefore, from the meaning of this verse, to expect that the Book of Revelation is to contain a verification of the Scriptures in their role as a testimony of Jesus Christ. The Book is to corroborate, substantiate, confirm, prove, make certain, and establish the Scriptures.

An Eyewitness Account

The Book is also to contain an eye witness account. John has already stated in the Gospel of John and in the Book of 1 John, that he is an eyewitness to the life and ministry of Jesus Christ:

“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; 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen [it], and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) 3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ, (1 John 1).

Now in the Book of Revelation he is giving his eye witness account of the spiritual realities of the perfected revelation of His coming and Kingdom as revealed to him while in the Spirit.

*For further discussion of the Poetic elements in the Book of Revelation, see pages 34-50 in my book, Revelation In Context, available at the Living Word Bookstore in Shawnee, Oklahoma and online at www.Amazon.com or www.xulonpress.com. For free downloads go to www.revelationincontext.sermon.net.