Any message is conveyed through a concatenation of words, put together in a systematic pattern. However, quite often, the words may misrepresent, or be erroneously understood, thereby, giving room for misleading. Marital problems and wars, in general, emanate from incoherent communication.
The same applies to understanding God’s word. It is impossible to understand God’s word, without a divine revelation. The limitations of language are a serious handicap that has thrown out, even the most renowned theologians of our time. God’s word cannot be readily understood, without God’s revelation.
The New Testament Bible was written in the Greek language. It is not necessary to learn the Greek language, to fully appreciate the Bible. In fact, when having received the Holy Spirit, Biblical texts cease to be of necessity. This is what Jesus meant, to His disciples, before He left.
“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you (John 14:15-18 NIV).
The above Scripture suggests that it is unnecessary to focus on the written word, after receiving the Holy Spirit. The written word is necessary, only to those still searching to understand the fundamentals of Christianity. Those are like the Corinthian Christians that Paul referred to.
“Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarrelling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, ‘I follow Paul,’ and another, ‘I follow Apollo’s.’ Are you not mere human beings?” (1 Corinthians 3:1-4 NIV).
The apostle Paul was highlighting the difference between those, who were yet to be grounded in faith and the fully grounded ones. Those not yet grounded were mere infants, unaware of the Spirit that guides God’s children. Their behaviour was characterized by being followers of personalities, rather than being convicted in the Spirit. I suppose this is typical of denominationalism in today’s Christianity?
The first chapter of John’s gospel Book confuses people, more than enlightens them. It is from this chapter that the idea of the Trinity is galvanized. The error is in contravening the fact that God cannot be likened to anything, as stated in Exodus 20:4.
Christians ought to be aware that Christianity is not entirely divorced from the Old Testament. This is just as Jesus clearly stated that He served as the fulfilment of what was projected in the Old Testament. It is a theological error, to fail to appreciate that reality.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was at the beginning with God. All things were made by him; without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not” (John 1:1-5 Bible Office).
This Scripture has confused, even the most renowned theologians of our time. This is a result of the inability to comprehend that God cannot be likened to anything physical. But, the author should not be understood as projecting some mysterious prophecy. He was revealing Jesus who had already appeared.
He could have, openly, stated that Jesus was God; if Trinity carried any significance. But the moment one mentions the Son of God; one refers to what was created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27). God’s image should not be confused with Adam’s formation, whose descendants we are, except Jesus Christ. John clearly reveals the identity of Jesus in verse 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. (John 1: 14 Bible Offline).
The mention of the Word becoming flesh, points to God’s communication, coming through the physical Jesus. The same communication, as was conveyed through Jesus, is transmitted through those whom Jesus calls His brothers. In Jesus, God existed in this world. Similarly, among those with the Holy Spirit, God exists among humans.
The biggest challenge, with humans, is assuming to know what is unknown. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to help a person, stuck in assuming to already know something. The special reason for Jesus’ crucifixion, was the Pharisees’ assumption that they knew Scriptures better than Jesus.
The starting point is the aspect of ‘beginning’, being mentioned by John. This is not referring to creation. This is the beginning of God’s communication with humanity, since falling off from God’s grace. The method of communication with humanity is punctuated in words.
Humanity needs God’s Word, to be able to understand God’s purpose and His plan of redemption. After Jesus, God’s Word would not come, miraculously, anymore. God uses humans, similarly to how He used Jesus. There is nothing complicated with what is projected in this submission.
The only reason for rejecting this could be the consideration of the author’s credentials. Certainly, the author holds no meaningful credentials to convince Scholars. But the same author is absolutely certain, as one writing from the viewpoint of understanding.
Scholars may assume having a good reason for invalidating the author. But the author also carries good reason for invalidating those Scholars, based on their esteemed credentials. This is a juxtaposed condition, only requiring open minds, for those willing to examine data without prejudice.
The rejection of this submission is not surprising, though. History may be littered with similar submissions which were thrown out of the window. Those of this world appear as considering credentials, more than considering merits of the proffered information.
Mortal humans focus on credentials before examining the workability of information. But God’s word does not come from humans. This is what those who Paul said were infants could not understand. They were still sustained by milk, rather than strong meat.
After Adam’s sin, direct communication with God was closed, against humanity (Genesis 3:23-24). God’s Word caused the creation of all things, as appearing in our physical universe.
Moses recorded the prophesied messages of God, through the stories of Noah, leading to Abraham, and the emergence of the Israelite nation. Many prophets did the same. But no one could speak God’s Word in clearest terms than Jesus.
God’s communication had remained enigmatic; until highlighted in flesh (John 1:14). This does not necessarily mean that the flesh had always been God. But the flesh, through which God’s communication was effected, was the only begotten Son of God.
Why mention the only begotten Son? The entire humanity had fallen off from God’s grace. But through this only begotten Son, humanity could reunite with their Father. This should be as clear as sunrise, to objective readers. Jesus comes in like a lamb without blemish, in order to be sacrificed for the sin of humanity.
The sacrifice obliterated the sin, being a wage between God and humanity. That sacrifice, by God, Himself, is unequalled to any other sacrifice, ever presented before God. But, what could be so special about humanity, for God to grant them His Only-begotten Son, to die for their sins?
“For God so loved the world; that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3: 16-17 Bible Offline)
The only begotten Son is the original model, for humanity. Through Him, all might be saved, to also become God’s Children, once again. The condemnation of anyone would not be by God’s choice, but the individual’s choice. Truth is the only thing that leads to freedom.
Falsehood, a product of assumption, leads astray. Nevertheless, falsehood can be likeable to some people, just as truth is likeable, to others. After Jesus had asked His disciples how ordinary people identified Him, the apostles revealed that they relied on assumptions (Matthew 16:13-16).
God’s love is not found in forcing people into God’s Kingdom. Neither is it found in proselytizing them into that Kingdom. The choice is by anyone, exercising willingness to choose without prejudice. The only observable stumbling block towards God’s Kingdom is pride, describable as another form of stupidity.
Symbolically, pride is represented in Satan. All of us have been besieged by pride, one way or the other. The biggest challenge with this curse is that a person gets affected by pride when assuming to avoid being proud.
The more educated, the person becomes, on Godly things, the stupider He becomes. I would forgive those taking this as insulting Scholars. But, this is observably true, as any person with unquestionable knowledge, but without approvable credentials, cannot convince the ‘respected’ Scholars.
When awarded a PhD in theology, one is considered an authority, by those of this world. Yet the truth remains in that no human is inherent with truth, as to be an authority. From that angle, one sees the infiltration of false data. The assumption of becoming the authority is an automatic departure from the authority, let alone the teachings of Jesus.
“But Jesus called them unto him, and said; ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister, And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20: 25-28 Bible Offline).
Why did Jesus take time to instil this data in His disciples? Human as they were, those disciples always assumed that there could be some people more knowledgeable than others. However, that is a clear falsehood. If there could have been any knowledgeable person than others, in this world, there would have been no reason for Jesus to come.
Therefore, in Jesus we have the Word, referring to God’s communication, deserving to be listened to. This is not hard teaching, but more to do with common sense. Wisdom comes from appreciating that true information comes from the source, not from assumptions.
Those, having assumed that Jesus was one of the prophets, had held their viewpoint as factual (Matthew 16:13-16). But they could have received the truth by directly asking Jesus, of His origin. Apparently, they relied on the assumption, rather than the truth. But why do people seem to prefer avoiding the truth, at all times?
This is known to be the case throughout the world. There seems to be an obsession with generalities, rather than facts. During the war of liberation, in Zimbabwe, many innocent people lost their lives. The wicked guerillas listened to gossipers, more than the truthful people.
Truth-tellers were mercilessly killed, leaving the gossipers to continue, as if everything was normal. But, all that is characteristic of human behaviour in this world. Truth-tellers are endangered, where liars appear as being protected. Falsehood is the opposite of communication, representing the Word, referred to, in John’s narration.
At the centre of communication is God, which communication is God, who is the cause of everything. Communication is designed to dispel all falsehood, as falsehood is not communication. Any person, who refuses communication, does so, as long as standing on falsehood.
“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (John 1:9-13 NIV).
Those willing to accept the truth; referred to as God’s children by John, are not different from Jesus Christ. However, this assertion cannot be appreciated by those preferring to uphold the idea of Trinity. Such are the people who cannot be willing to confront the truth, reminiscent of the crucifiers of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope.
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