"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in
the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles,
believed on in the world, received up into glory" (1Ti 3:16).
God-manifestation is the display of the glory of God within
His creation, His fundamental purpose in all creation (Num 14:21). It is
particularly seen in the display of His character and attributes. When Adam fell
he no longer displayed the image of his Creator as previously, and became
estranged (Gen 1:27; 3:24). God's purpose is that men and women should become
even greater manifestations of Himself than Adam and Eve were
"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" (1Jo 1:2).
God -- source of all
No man can see God and live (Exo 33:20; 1Ti 6:16; Joh 1:18).
So He has shown Himself by intermediaries, by God-in-manifestation.
God is revealed in the meaning of His Name, Yahweh. The angel
in the burning bush spoke to Moses (Exo 3:2) as God: "I am..." (v 6). He
explained His Name as signifying "I am That I am" (v 14), or "I will be Who I
will be" (RSV), emphasizing that He is a God of the future as well as the
present and past (Exo 6:2-8). His Name is a memorial to all future generations
(Exo 3:15), most especially to those whom He is creating as manifestations of
Himself, and who will become part of the glorified Israel symbolized by the bush
which continued burning unconsumed (Psa 22:30; Hos 12:5,6; Isa 53:10; 2Pe
He is the Source and Sustainer of all things, and they are
created for His glory (1Co 8:6; Acts 17:28; Rom 11:36).
Revealed in the angels
Revealed in Christ
- Angels displayed the joy of God (Job 38:7; Luk
2:10-14), carried the Name of God (Gen 16:13; 18:1; Exo 23:20,21), and at the
Exodus and at Sinai showed the power and glory of God (Exo 14:19,20; Acts
- Yahweh's angel proclaimed His Name and
character to Moses, "abundant in goodness and truth", merciful and forgiving
"Christadelphians are neither Arians, Socinians, nor
Trinitarians; but believers in the 'great mystery of godliness, Deity manifested
in Flesh', as set forth in 'the Revelation of the Mystery', preached by the
apostles" (Eur 2:336).
- "The Word [or Logos] was God"; that is, the
thought, mind and purpose of God was expressed in speech and later personally in
Adam's flesh as the Son of God, "the only begotten of the Father" by the
overshadowing power of the Holy Spirit (Joh 1:1,14,18; 2Sa 7:14; Luk 1:35). As a
result he was called Emmanuel, "God with us" (Mat 1:23; Isa
- One purpose of his manifestation as the
Son of God was to destroy the works of the devil (1Jo 3:8; Heb 2:14). It is
essential to recognize that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh (1Jo 4:2,3; 2Jo
- Made "in the form of God" by his birth, he
is "the image of the invisible God", "the express image of His person" (Phi 2:6;
Col 1:15; Heb 1:3). He has "declared" the Father, and manifested His Name (Joh
1:18; 17:6,26). In him the Father was seen (Joh
- He brought life for the human race and
was thus "the light of men" (Joh 1:4,9; 12:46; 2Co 4:4). This light is not of
himself but of the Father, shining "in our hearts, to give the light of the
knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2Co 4:6; Joh
- By service and suffering he was made
perfect, a full manifestation of his Father (Phi 2:7,8; Heb 2:10; 5:8,9). He has
therefore been raised to the manifestation of God in Divine nature, inheriting a
name greater than angels, and glorifying God in the process (Heb 5:5; 1:4; Phi
2:9-11). He is now the anointed Son of the Father in a greater sense (Acts
13:33; Heb 1:9). He carries the name Yahweh our Righteousness and, particularly
when he returns, men will bow to the Father through him, and his glory will be
revealed (Isa 45:23; Jer 23:5,6).
Revealed in the faithful down the ages
God-manifestation should be part of the daily living of the
man or woman of God (1Ti 6:6,11; 2:10). Abiding in the doctrine of Christ is
essential, and by it we 'have' or manifest both the Father and the Son (2Jo 1:9;
- Reception of the Word of God is made the mark of
a member of the Elohim, as in the case of the judges of Israel (Joh 10:34-36;
Psa 82:1,6; Exo 21:6; 22:8,28).
- Immersion into
"the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (Mat 28:19)
involves understanding, believing and obeying a body of truth defined in the
Word of God. By this we become children of God -- that is, we are "born from
above" (Joh 3:3, mg).
To be revealed in the saints
- Even now we are the sons of God (1Jo 3:2), but
are being changed into or conformed to the image of God's Son (2Co 3:18; 4:6,7;
Rom 8:29; 1Jo 3:10).
- The ecclesia, the one body
of Christ, is spiritually one with Christ (1Co 10:16,17; 12:12,13; Gal 3:27,28;
Eph 4:12). He is its head and through him its members enter the Name to the
glory of God (Eph 5:23,27; Joh 17:22,23).
The future manifestation of God in the saints will fulfil
promises and prophecies:
Sons of God are being brought to future glory, and by
sanctification through Jesus are of the one Father with him (Heb 2:10,11). The
full significance of this glory cannot be appreciated by mortal man (1Jo
- To partake of the Divine Nature, incorruptible
and immortal (2Pe 1:4; 1Co 15:53,54; Jam
- To reign in glory with Christ in the earth
(Dan 7:27; 2Ti 2:12; Rev 5:10).
Today we are either prospective manifestations of God as
saints, already bearing some Divine likeness, or manifestations of the natural
man, the adversary of God (1Jo 4:4).
- God's title "Father of glory" will take on an
extended meaning through "the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the
saints" (Eph 1:17,18; Col 1:27).
- We wait for "the
glory which shall be revealed in us", "the manifestation of the sons of God",
"the glorious liberty of the children of God", "the redemption of our body" (Rom