The Challenge of the Christian Theology and more …
/ Ewald Frank
11. God manifests Himself
- Does all happen by chance?
- The time is near
- The only valid measuring rod
- The old dispute
- The testimony of historians
- History confirms it
- God’s confession
- God manifests Himself
- In heaven and on earth
- The Lord visits His prophet
- The »I am«
- Was the Son born in heaven?
- Spirit and Truth
- Very peculiar
- Respect for the Great Mystery
- Everyone defends his or her own doctrine
- The rock
- The Great Commission
- Thou shalt have no other gods …
- Believe as the Scripture says
- An unbelievable tragedy
- The end-time
- A challenge to all
- No one can bypass Jesus Christ
- New creation
- The Son and the sons and daughters of God
- The two beginnings
- The course of church history
- No man’s influence
In the beginning was the Word, not the interpretation.We see the term »beginning« several times. »In the beginning God created …« (Gen. 1: 1). »And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands.« (Heb. 1: 10; Ps. 102: 25). »In the beginning was the Word …« (Jn. 1: 1). »That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life …« (1 Jn. 1: 1). The Greek word »Genesis« is used for the first book of Moses and means »beginning«. The Hebrew word for it is »bereshit« and means »origin«. In the book Genesis we find the origin of all things — the beginning of God’s manifestation, the origin of the creation, the creation of the universe, the origin of life and so on. Before the »beginning« was eternity.
In the first verse of chapter one in the Bible we meet God as the Creator. In the Hebrew text we find the name for God is Elohim. »In the beginning Elohim created …« Within this word lies a plurality in the singular, for God — Elohim — is not only Creator, He is much more: He is Sustainer, Saviour, King, Shepherd, Redeemer, Judge — all in all. Elohim is shown forth in connection with His main attributes, which we find expressed in Yahweh. The abbreviation El already stands for the Almighty, for instance Immanu-El = »God with us«, as also the abbreviation Yah signifies Yahweh, as with Hallelu-Yah = »Praise Yahweh«, Eli-Yah »God is Yahweh«; Dani-El = »Judge is God«; Isra-El »God’s fighter«, Isa-Yah »Yahweh is salvation«, Jedid-Yah »Beloved of Yahweh« etc. »Elohim« is not a name, but rather God Himself, His very nature. »Yahweh« is the covenant name in and through which God revealed Himself in the Old Testament.
To Abraham the Lord God revealed Himself as El Shaddai (Gen. 17: 1), as the »All-sufficient One«, »the One Who cares«, after He had met with him in Gen. 14: 18-20 in the person of Melchisedek, the »King-Priest«. According to Heb. 7 this Melchisedek is the King of Peace Himself, the King of Salem, the King of Righteousness. In the Old Testament the Lord had not yet become man, and was not yet manifested as the Son, therefore we find it written correctly of Him that He was »King-Priest« and had no father and no mother, no ancestors, no beginning of time. »God the Highest« — El Elyon said, »Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth.« Then God met with Abraham as El Olam — the »Eternal God«. In Isa. 9: 6 in connection with the birth of the Son He is spoken of as El Gibbor = »Mighty God« etc.
The special theophanies/self-manifestations of God as Yahweh — »Lord« happened previous to His coming as Redeemer: Yahweh-Jireh = »the Lord provides a sacrifice« (Gen. 22: 14); Yahweh-Rapha = »the Lord healeth« (Ex. 15: 26); Yahweh-Nissi = »the Lord, my banner« (Ex. 17: 15); Yahweh-Shalom = »the Lord, our peace« (Jud.
6: 24); Yahweh-Rã-ha = »the Lord, my shepherd« (Ps. 23); Yahweh-Tsidkenu = »the Lord, our Righteousness« (Jer. 23: 6); Yahweh-Shammah = »the Lord is present« (Ezek. 48: 35). God manifested Himself as the »Lord« to meet all the needs of creation and provide redemption. He manifested His own attributes and revealed Himself in them, but remained always the same.
From Gen. 2: 4 we find the words combined »Elohim-Yahweh « — Lord God. Over thirty times in the first chapter, till 2: 3, we meet only the expression Elohim. This mystery concerns the two creation accounts, which we cannot deal with here. Yahweh is the visible form or appearance of the invisible God. God Himself is Spirit (Jn. 4: 24). He is immortal, invisible, the only wise God (1 Tim.
1: 17), »… Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach; whom no man hath seen, nor can see …« (1 Tim. 6: 16). The beloved disciple of our Lord testifies, »No man hath seen God at any time.« (1 Jn. 4: 12a). But in the form and shape God manifested Himself people have seen Him! Adam, Abraham, Moses, Micah, Ezekiel, Daniel and the other prophets have seen the »Lord God«. In the New Testament the same God Elohim was manifested in the visible body of the Son, Who is the »Lord«, »… Who, being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power …« (Heb. 1: 3). Thomas, seeing the Lord after His resurrection, cried out, »My Lord and my God!« (Jn. 20: 28).
The invisible Elohim came forth from His eternal Glory, out of the fullness of light and life in the beginning, and appeared as Yahweh in visible form. In this beginning the Word, the Logos, the »Lord« is seen outside the eternal fullness of God — the Word, which was with God (Jn. 1: 1) acting, creating, the One Who brought all things into existence (Col. 1: 16).
The »Lord« is God, not another, but always the Same. The Spirit of God was already hovering over the deep in the creation as radiating heat, bringing forth power, and the life of God (Gen. 1: 2). The same Spirit of God came down on the day of Pentecost as the Power of God, creating new life in the redeemed. Both manifestations of God, the one as Lord in a visible shape and the one as the Holy Spirit moving over the waters, were never spoken of or looked upon as different persons. God is Spirit and God is the »Lord«, and the »Lord« is God and the »Lord« is the Spirit (2 Cor. 3: 17). Only if this is revealed to us, one can state according to the Scripture, »Jesus is the Lord« in agreement with Paul testifying, »… that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit.» (1 Cor. 12: 3b).