The Berean Expositor
Volume 31 - Page 81 of 181
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#13.  The Invisible and the Only Begotten.
The Summary of the Prologue (1: 18).
pp. 86 - 90
We have now arrived at the stupendous conclusion to this great prologue: From the
revelation of "The Word" in the beginning, we have descended to creation, to
manifestation and to incarnation. The Word was made flesh. Then we commence the
ascent to "the glory that He had before", but the coming of the Word in the flesh was for
the purpose of redemption.
"No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, Which is in the bosom of
the Father, He hath declared Him" (John 1: 18).
The "Word" of verse 1 becomes here "the only begotten Son", while "God" becomes
"the Father". When we speak of the Holy Spirit, we do not mentally conjure up some
particular shape or form, but when believers speak of the "Father" they are apt to forget
the words of John 4::
"The true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father
seeketh such to worship Him. God is spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him
in spirit and in truth" (John 4: 23, 24).
There can be no mistaking the meaning of this passage. "The Father" is placed in
correspondence with "God", Who is spirit. Again, in John 5: we read:
"And the Father Himself, Which hath sent Me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have
neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His shape" (John 5: 37).
And again in John 6:: "Not that any man hath seen the Father, save He which is of
God, He hath seen the Father" (John 6: 46). Similarly, in I Tim. 1: 17 God is declared
to be "The King eternal, incorruptible, invisible", while in chapter 6: of the same epistle
we read: "Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach
unto, Whom no man hath seen or can see" (I Tim. 6: 16). Such is the consistent
testimony of Scripture. It is of the very essence of material things that they can be either
seen, or heard, or felt. The world of matter is intimately linked with the bodily senses,
but it is of the very essence of spirit that the human eye, and ear, and hand cannot
apprehend it: "Handle me and see, for spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see Me have"
(Luke 24: 39). While the reader will readily acquiesce in all that has been advanced
from the Scriptures, there will probably be, nevertheless, in the back of the mind, a
number of Old Testament passages that seem at first sight to contradict this testimony.
For example, in Gen. 35: we read:
"God appeared unto Jacob . . . . . and God went up from him, in the place where He
talked with him . . . . . I am God Almighty . . . . . and Jacob called the name of the place
where God spake with him, Bethel" (Gen. 35: 9-15).