ChristadelphianBooksOnline
Rick O'Connor
The Things Of The Kingdom And The Things Of The Name
God In Manifestation

ONE GOD IN MANY SONS

God has declared from the beginning that it is His purpose to fill this earth with His glory (Numbers 14:21). The way He does this is by showing forth Himself in those who obey the gospel.

Re-created in God’s Spiritual Likeness

In fact God redeems us in Christ so we can show forth His virtues:

“Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises (correctly as in the margin – the virtues) of him who have called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” 1 Peter 2:9

God’s virtues are not natural to us. We must learn them from His word, which re-create our minds in Rio likeness in a spiritual re-birth (1 Peter 1:23).

His exhortation to us is to become imitators of Him as children do their parents (Ephesians 5:1). We can do this by observing His ways of thought and action as the Bible shows us them, and then doing as we see Him do.

Both the letters to the Ephesians and the Colossians show that the effect of our belief in the gospel is to create in us a new mental and moral outlook, which forms our characters into the image of God’s own: -

“Be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” Ephesians 4:23-24

“Ye have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” Colossians 3:10

This is what God wishes for us, so that He can adopt us as His own children, to save us from death and draw us into eternal happiness and fellowship with Himself and Christ.

Christ Dwells in Our Hearts

Christ is the manifestation of God to us, so God wants to see in our hearts the image of Christ. Paul prays that God may grant us:

“to be strengthened with might by his spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith...” Ephesians 3:16-17

This key Scriptural statement focuses attention on the only means by which the image of Christ and God may be formed in our hearts - by belief of the gospel.

By faith our ways of thought and action can be greatly changed so we behave as Christ did, and please God as he did.

The change will bring us close to God and create a unity of mind with him similar to that attained in Christ. Christ prayed for those who believe in him:

“that they all may be one; as thou Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they all may be one in us... and the glory which thou hast given me I have given them; that they may be one even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one” John 17:21-23

This unity of mind, heart and character, imperfect as it may be in these days of weakness, gives us access to a source of strength, happiness and security that nothing else can offer, and no one can take away, if we remain faithful.

God is pleased to see in us His own image and will crown it with a fitting reward. He will endow those, whose lives have shown Him forth, with His own divine and immortal nature. The Apostle Peter says:

“His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” 2 Peter 1:3-4

The First Steps

Your first steps to realising this glorious destiny, offered through the grace of the loving God, are:

  1. To accept His call made to you in the gospel,
  2. Believe the gospel of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ,
  3. Be baptised into Jesus Christ to obtain forgiveness of sins,
  4. In a life of faith and obedience to God, let God show Himself in you in every thought and act.

Jesus Christ – The Son and Manifestation of God – Part 1

Reading: John 6:27-65

In natural things a father and son are alike in many ways but nonetheless are different individuals. one being older than the other by very reason of their relationship as father and son. This is the relationship that exists between God - His son.

Philippians 2:6 Jesus is in the form of God as any son is in the form of his father, which presupposes the existence of the father before the son.

Luke 1:35 Jesus was both son of God and son of Mary. That which was born was human and dependent for its very existence upon a mother and father. There could be no existence before its conception. v32 “He shall be called the Son of the Highest” is suggestive that the fact needs proof. He was human which would otherwise be seen to be an impossibility but was revealed by God to be true.

John 1:15 “...preferred (Philippians 2:9 - exalted because he was death, v8) before me; for he was before me”.

V30 Talking about the man who was before him which is proof that it is not talking about a pre-existent part of the Godhead but that rather this was a part of God’s plan and was foreknown of Him, Romans 8: 2 9.

John 6 the exposition of John 1:15, 30.

v32 - he was the bread, which came from heaven; v38 he came down from heaven; v51 he equates the bread with his flesh - which he says came from heaven.

If therefore it is insisted that this preaches his pre-existence then he existed in flesh in heaven - this could not be because his flesh was the product of his conception in his mother’s womb. It is evident then that he meant other than his literal pre-existence in heaven.

Such passages are understood then that his existence prior to his conception was as a part of God’s plan and purpose - he pre-existed only in the foreknowledge of God and not in a literal existence before conception. See Romans 4:17

Jesus Christ – Son and Manifestation of God – Part 2

Reading: Colossians 1

The principle at the heart of this subject (1 Timothy 3:14-16) in a context of how the members of the household of God should behave. Note the correct punctuation in vvl5-16

“...how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the ecclesia of the living God. The pillar and ground of the truth and without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest...”

Manifestation means showing forth. Jesus Christ in his life and behaviour showed the character of God.

Colossians 1:13 darkness - the ignorance that is in the world uninfluenced by God. v15 “image” means likeness in the same way that a photograph is the likeness of the person photographed. It is not the original.

Colossians 2:9 the Godhead was “dwelling” in Christ which in Greek language clearly indicates he was not himself a part of the Godhead. He was the “house” and not the “resident”. The word “Godhead” means the qualities of God - the qualities of God that dwell in Christ were those of character. When the Lord Jesus Christ was immortalised he possessed the spirit qualities bodily. This still differentiates between God and Jesus. The angels possess these qualities as will the immortalized saints, see Ephesians 3:19.

Things about Christ making it impossible:-

1 Peter 1:20
“foreordained” i.e. under God’s control
Romans 1:1-2
“Jesus promised before” ... Father had him in control - a time at which he didn’t exist
Luke 1:35
“conceived”
Galatians 4:4
“made of a woman”
Romans 1:3
“made of David’s seed”
Acts 10:38
given Holy Spirit by God
John 6:27
“sealed” by the Father
Matthew 28:18
“given all power” by God
1 Peter 2:4
chosen by God
Acts 2:24
“raised” from the dead
John 5:26
“given life” by God
Acts 2:33
“exalted” by God
Acts 3:13
“glorified” by God
1 Peter 1:21
“given glory” and honour by God
Philippians 2:9
given the name of God by God
Acts 4:11
made cornerstone
1 Corinthians 1:30
made by God wisdom...

John 1:1 A strange beginning - it must have been expected to be understood by the readers. The book was written for believers. The word “word” is “logos”. Its use will demonstrate its meaning:

Acts 15:7
“the word (logos) of the gospel”
Ephesians 1:13
“the word (logos) of the truth, the gospel”
Colossians 1:5
“the word (logos) of the truth, the gospel”
Titus 1:3
“manifest the word through preaching”

These are expressions that the reader would readily understand by the use of this word.

See Acts 8:4 “preaching the word”. “Preaching” means “preach the gospel” - thus the identity of the word and the gospel. Thus John 1:1 will be understood as ...

“In the beginning was the gospel”.

“The word was God” is a metaphor. Other examples of metaphor are John 1:8; 5:35; Jude 12, 13. John 1:1 - Whatever the word was... it was with God, two different things emphasized by its repetition in v2.

The Name of Manifestation

Reading: Exodus 3

Ephesians 4:1 - the call to be brethren of Christ, children of God, examples to the world of what God would have us to be, e.g. vv17-24 (v22 exhortation - put off the way we lived before we entered into Christ - old ways were corrupt simply because they were impelled by the lusts in our mind), v23 be renewed in the disposition of our mind, v24 a new way of behaviour - “after God” – “patterned on”, “like” (now no longer like Adam, but like God) -the new man has been recreated - they now have one name common to them all, Revelation 3:11-12, the family name - thy new name. Jesus’ old name was Yahoshua, his new name is Yahweh (Philippians 2:9,11). It is his obedience to God that proves his sonship (Hebrews 5:8-9; John 1:14 the only begotten stands unique and alone, see v12; and relate to Revelation 14:1). The name describes for us a changed way of life.

Exodus 3:13 - they would ask what was God’s name. What can you tell us that will show us what He is like? (is the idea) The nations’ gods’ names bespoke their identity, i.e. Baal = lord,
Milchom = king etc,

v14 I AM THAT I AM (one statement of the name).

v15 THE LORD GOD OF YOUR FATHERS, THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, THE GOD OF ISAAC, THE GOD OF JACOB (is a restatement of the name). “LORD” in capital letters is YAHWEH but only one word in this statement - three words making up the name, YAHWEH ELOHIM of ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB (elements). The rest of the Scriptures use each of the elements as abbreviations of the total name.

Yahweh = He will become; Elohim = mighty ones.

Abraham, Isaac (selected over Ishmael) and Jacob (selected over Esau). The name of God works by selecting from among mankind. “He will become mighty ones selected from Abraham’s seed” (Romans 9 - selection).

Exodus 3:12 - “I will be” is wrongly translated “I am” in v14. “I will become who I will become” - this is a description of what God is like. As soon as they heard that they knew what God was like.

Genesis 18:16-18 - “Abraham shall become” - by having a son and becoming a father. Yahweh’s name therefore indicates His intention to have a family. Genesis 32:10 “I have become” - a family now grown into two companies. Genesis 48:19 - “he also shall become a people... become a multitude of nations”.

Exodus 2:9-10 - “became her son” by adoption (cp. John 1:12 a commentary on the name of Yahweh) . He takes that name because he is a father who has sons and daughters. We are to be mental and moral reflections of our Father - a family in His own likeness.

Colossians 3:7-10 (cp. Ephesians 4) “image” interprets the ideas of Ephesians 4. Jesus in his life, death and resurrection proved that the Father had a son. Both statements in Ephesians 4 and Colossians 3 are quoting Genesis 1:26-27, image - family likeness between God and His children.

1 John 4:8-16; 3:1,2 (there is a greater sonship to come). Galatians 3:7-9, 26-29 the importance of likeness, descendants described as seed (they come from it) cp. Genesis 1:11-12. Galatians 3:16 is the application of v29, Abraham’s SEED. People of Abraham’s kind by faith - of one kind of seed only that which is characterized by Christ (cp. Romans 4:11-18) Through His word we think the way God thinks, we live as God’s children.
Next Next Next