Soteriology Contributor Brian Wagner Mistaken Misunderstanding and Misrepresantion of God’s Word Exposed. John 1:9

Before I begin to let the scholars show you Brian’s mistaken misunderstanding and misrepresentation of  John 1:9 and other verses in John Chapter 1.  I want to say, Brain is a good man, his character is very Christlike.  Soft gentle and forgiving.  Hc can be somewhat condescending at times but so can we all.  He actually was patient with me when I was rude to him and has helped me to not be so offended when interacting with others, it is just iron sharpening iron. Brian does hold to one teaching that I think is a heresy which is the diminished humanistic heretical god of humanism.  I still believe Brain to be in Christ only deceived by this heresy. He is stubborn when it comes to what he believes about God’s word which I can say again we all fall to in that category. But Brian sees himself going alone against the popular scholars and thinking he is for the most part always right. Which I think is a weakness within himself because he is a very intelligent man.  So here we go!!!

William Hendriksen

John 1:1 – In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the word was God.

1:1 In the beginning – when the heavens and the earth were created (GEN 1:1) – The word already existed. This is another way of saying that he (Christ) existed from all eternity. He was not what certain heretics claimed him to be, a created being.

Was the word – Already in the Old Testament the Word of God is represented as a Person. Note especially Ps. 33:6: By the Word of Jehovah were the heavens made. What is probably the best commentary on John 1:1 is found in Prov. 8:27-30

When he established the heavens, I was there;
When he set a circle upon the face of the deep.
When he made firm the skies above,
When he gave to the deep its bound
When he marked out the foundations of the earth;
Then I was by him, a master workman
And I was daily his delight
Rejoicing always before him

As a New Testament designation of the Christ, the term Word occurs only in 1:1. 14;  1 John 1:1 and Revelation 19:13. A word serves two distinct purposes: a. it gives expression to the inner thought, the soul of the man, doing this even though no one else is present to hear what is said to read what is thought and b. it reveals this thought (hence, the soul of the speaker) to others. Christ is the Word of God in both respects: he expresses or reflects the mind of God; also he reveals God to man (1:18 cf. Matt. 11:27, Heb. 1:3).

And the word was God – the meaning is that the word existed in the closest possible fellowship with the Father and that he took supreme delight in this communion. (Cf. 1 John 1:2.) So deeply had this former joy impressed itself upon the Logos that is was never erased from his consciousness, as is also evident from the high-priestly prayer

“and now, Father, glorify thou me with thine own self or, in thine won
presence, which the glory which I had with thee before the world existed”

Thus the incarnation begins to stand out more clearly as a deed of the incomprehensible love and infinite condescension.

And the Word was God – In order to place all the emphasis on Christ’s full deity the predicate in the original precedes the subject. Over against every heretic, it must be made plain that this Word was fully divine!!!

2. He was in the beginning with God. – The fully divine Word existing from all eternity as a distinct Person was enjoying loving fellowship with the Father. Thus, the full deity of Christ, his eternity, and his distinct personal existence are confessed once more, in order that heretics may be refuted and the Church may be established in the faith and love of God.

3. – All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. –  All things, one by one, came into being through this divine Word. Thus, the great truth that Christ created all things (for in the external works all three Persons cooperate) is first of all stated positively and from the viewpoint of the present, it is expressed thus:  “Apart from him, not a single thing that exists came into being.”

Two facts are here stressed:  a. that the Christ himself was not created; he was eternally (in order to convey that thought the imperfect tense is used four times in verses 1 and 2); and b. that all things (viewed distributively one by one without any exception were created by him (here the aorist tense is used.

4. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. – Not through but in, just as in 5:26, 6:48, 53, 11:25. The clause “in him was life” means that from all eternity and throughout the entire old dispensation life resided in the Word. Hence, the best reading has was, not is.

But what is meant by the term “LIFE”, as used here? Does it refer dieectly to every kind of life, physical as well as spiritual, the life of the butterfly as well as the life of the archangel?

Physical life, however, does not reside in the second person of the Trinity. God is not physical in any sense (cf, 4:24) Besides, it is a good rule in exegesis to see whether a term is explained when one reads on and on. When the rule is applied in the case, the result is as follows:

The life is characterized as the light of men (1:4b). This light shines in the darkness and is not appropriated by sinful man (1:5).  (MY words, it seems as if Brian Wagner’s understanding of John 1:9 is already being exposed as faulty) With reference to this light, the Baptist bears testimony (verses 6, 7) The latter was not the perfect and original light, in whose radiance all other lights seem dim, but he came to bear testimony with respect to the light (verses 8. 9). THIS LIGHT IS NOW REJECTED BY GOD’S CHILDREN VERSES 10-13

John 1:9-11New King James Version (NKJV

That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.[a]

10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.

11 He came to His own,[b] and His own[c]did not receive him.

From this context, it is clear that the terms life and light belong to the spiritual sphere. Moreover, both in the Fourth Gospel and in the First Epistle the term life always (54 times ) moves in that realm. When one really possesses this life, he experiences close fellowship with God in Christ (17:3) The meaning is similar in the book of Revelation  (book of life, the water of life, the tree of life, crown of life).

And the life was the light of men – When life is manifested, it is called light, for it is characteristic of light to shine forth. Since the fall, which is implied already here in the last clause of verse 4, that light was proclaimed to men. Mankind was characterized by DARKNESS, EVIL, AND HATRED, WHICH ARE THE ANTONYMS OF LIGHT. To them (especially Israel; see the explanation of verses 10, 11 throughout the old dispensation the truth and the love of God in Christ were proclaimed. Truth and love are synonyms of light. (For both antonyms and synonyms see 3:19-21; 1 John 1:8-10) Of course one should not limit the meaning of the term light to just these two attributes (truth and love); they represent all God’s attributes. In the work of salvation all the divine attributes were displayed.  They were proclaimed to sinful men.

5. And the light shines in the darkness – Cf. verse 9: the light illumines every man. Note the change from the imperfect to the present tense: not only was the light shining throughout the old dispensation; is is shining still, for it is the very characteristic of light to shine. Moreover, whereas the Word (Christ) is the One in whom the life resides and by whom it is made to shine forth as light he is also himself called the light (Cf. 1:9 8:12, 1 John 2:8)  Like the sun in the sky this light shines forth in the mother-promise (Gen. 3:15) in the book of Exodus with its Passover Lamb and all other types, in Leviticus with its offerings that point forward to the shedding of Christ’s blood. in 

The sad response to this communication of the light is stated in the second part of verse 5: BUT THE DARKNESS DID NOT APPROPRIATE IT.

The darkness to this evangelist refers has a concrete meaning, it refers to fallen mankind, darkened by sin and unbelief. This darkness is the antagonist of Christ, the light. IT is an active personal darkness: it did not accept or appropriate the light.

Then comes verses 6, 7, and 8 where John the Baptist is introduced who was commissioned by God for the purpose of testifying of the Christ the true light.

Now for John 1:9 and the actual literal understanding of it found in God’s word. May my acquaintance Brian take note and as he has espoused this misunderstanding publically, may he have truth in his inward parts that will flow out with truth realities, that being speaking the truth in love and humility and recant and repent and give his listeners the correct understanding of John 1:9

9. The true light which enlightens everyone, was coming in the world

Christ is here called the true light (for the reason, see under verse 5). The word which has been translated is (alethinos) which means real, ideal, genuine. The Word is the perfect light in whose reliance all other lights seem dim.

This light illumines every man. Among many interpretations which have been given and must be considered are the following,

a. Christ who is the light actually grants spiritual illumination in the highest and fullest sense of the term, to every human being dwelling on earth without exception.

b. He grants spiritual illumination, which renews both heart and mind to every covenant child (elect or not) Some lose it again.

c. He grants this supreme blessing to every man who is saved; in the sense that not one of the saved receives his illumination from any other source.

d. He bestows upon every human individual, without exception the light of reason and conscience.

e. He illumines every man who hears the Gospel; he imparts a degree of understanding concerning spiritual matters (not necessarily resulting in salvation) to all those whose ears and minds are reached by the message of salvation The majority, however, do not respond favorably. Many who have the light prefer the darkness. Some, however, due entirely to the sovereign, saving grace of God receive the word with the proper attitude of heart and mind and obtain everlasting life.

Interpretations a. and b. can be rejected at once. The fourth gospel teaches a limited atonement (I challenge anyone to prove otherwise, The Father gave all authority over all flesh to Jesus, that he should GIVE ETERNAL LIFE TO ALL THE FATHER HAD GIVEN HIM.  AND THIS WAS SAID BEFORE HE HAD STARTED TALKING ABOUT THE DISCIPLES. I think the non-calvinist at times are willfully blind because they will not interact with a verse like this John 17:2) Not everyone is saved, but those who are saved remain saved (John 10:28)

Although d is favored by eminent conservative exegetes and proclaims an element of truth that must not be denied, we do not believe that is this context—-the reference is specifically to the light of reason and conscience. We accept the position that the light of which John speaks is the life of God in Christ, —and therefore Christ himself—-made manifest to the world by the preaching of the gospel.

Our only answer can be e or c and we prefer the latter being C.  Christ is the Light Who came into the world in order to give light to all whom God intends to enlighten. (vv. 9, 10; cf. 3-19-21)  ( I think this is where Brian has misunderstood has I have in the past myself, we see it as “every man coming into the world Christ enlightens” but if we really look at the context it is Christ who is coming into the world and enlightening everyone. Does this mean every single person without exception; In no way, experience and scripture advises and teaches us otherwise. (but it is Christ coming into the world enlightening all whom God intends to enlighten) Frequently, from the wording of the King James Version, people think that John is saying that Christ enlightens every man coming into the world. That is not what the passage is saying. The phrase coming into the world refers not to every man but to Christ.  It is He Who is the subject of the context, and the subject has to do with His entrance by the light coming into the world. John wrote that all were actually enlightened, but this does not necessarily mean all without exception as we see from scripture John 17:2 and experience down through history. The word “lighteth” or “enlighten” has the form of the future. 

“This is that light so long expected and predicted, which as the result of its coming into the world will ultimately enlighten universally in a limited sense.”

John 3:19-21New King James Version (NKJV)

19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

Rev. 5

Worthy Is the Lamb

Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying:

“You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
10 And have made us[d] kings[e] and priests to our God;
And we[f] shall reign on the earth.”

May revisit Brian Wagner’s Hyper Light of Christ Theory/Fallacy again


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