Unbelief Exposed And Dispelled
E. Russell King
Never in all the Biblically, recorded history of man has there not been some problem of unbelief in God and/or the will of God for man. The problem of unbelief strikingly stands on record from the Book of Genesis (wherein the creation record was hardly ended until the unbelief of Eve and Adam is recorded), all the way to the Book of Revelation (wherein is recorded God’s final disposal of all unbelief). Throughout all of the ensuing 6,000 plus years of history, Satan has successfully deluded man even in the presence of the indisputably mighty and marvelous workings of Jehovah God. It appears it shall be so until the coming GREAT DAY of judgment.
Probably one of the more sorrowful events on record is the unbelief of the liberated and God-led children of Israel in the wilderness all of whom (except Joshua and Caleb), while witnessing and experiencing an unparalleled manifestation of God’s presence, perished because of unbelief (Hebrews 3:18). Equally sorrowful are the facts set forth by the apostle John in the Prologue of his treatise (The Gospel of John) concerning the scope and intensity of unbelief that prevailed at the time of the manifestation of God in the flesh in the person of Jesus Christ (John 1:1-18; cf. Hebrews 1:3; John 14:9). The prevalence of unbelief and its intensity throughout the biblical narrative is appalling.
The purpose of John’s Gospel record was to promote and/or assure belief in God (Theos, Gr., or Elohim, Heb.- John 1:1-2; Genesis 1:1), i.e., the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit (cf. John 14:l ff.). He focused upon this effort from the first to the last verse of his Gospel record, setting “forth the evidence which contains the factuality of Jesus’ being the Christ, the Son of God,” (Halley 19)1 and John summarized it all in these words: “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God …” (John 20:30-31). Andrew M. Connally wrote: “The Gospel of John is the greatest evidences for belief the world has ever seen. Contained in these pages is the hope for a lost world, evidence for a burning faith, and power to overcome Satan and sin.”2
The intensity and scope of unbelief at the time of the advent of Jesus is implied in the unique Prologue consisting of the first eighteen verses of The Gospel of John. In the first three verses, John declared in unequivocal terms the pre-creation existence of the Word (Logos) as God (Theos or Deity). He was before all creation, hence not created. The Logos was God (Elohim - Genesis 1:1 ff.). John announced Him in incarnated form as Jesus (1:14), and the Son of God (20:31) – as decreed in the redemptive arrangement (cf. Psalm 2:7). This declaration in part or in whole has met with much unbelief to this day, denying (1) that He was Theos (Deity) before all creation, or (2) that He is or ever was Theos (Deity), (a) some claiming that He became “a God” at some later point in God’s eternal purpose, (b) others claiming that He, undeniably, was a good man, but only a man.
Again, John unequivocally declared that “life” is in the Logos and thus He is the Light, Who “was coming into the world” (cf. ESV) and “gives light to every man” (John 1:4, 9). “Light” characterizes the knowledge and practice of all that pertains to the nature and will of God – all that is good, holy, and spiritual. Light is the opposite of darkness that is characterized by ignorance, sin, and separation from God – all that is bad, unholy, and non-spiritual. All of this was illuminated by the Light, but “... men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).
Even though the light shined in darkness, the darkness did not comprehend (overcome, ESV) it. That is to say, a) darkness could not prevent it from shining; rays of that light shone at times through faithful Israel or wise men in general, b) but unbelief which prevailed, could and did keep the vast majority of people from admitting or receiving (comprehending) the light (1:5). Even when he came to “His own” (Israel, etc.), they did not receive him (1:11). They simply closed their “eyes” to the obvious and God-given evidence, obstinately refusing to accept and revere the Light’s revelation.
Therefore, from the conclusion of the Prologue to the conclusion of his Gospel record, John chose signs and events unique to his treatise that confirmed his unequivocal declarations, and thereby exposed the world’s unbelief. Consequently, no one over a sufficient time-period, using a sensible reasoning process with “an honest and good heart” (Luke 8:15), can study the Book of John, consider the validated evidence contained therein, and not conclude with Thomas, “My Lord and my God.” -Rt 5, Box 310-A, Keyser, WV 26726.
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