The term ‘God Manifestation’ means simply that the Character, Purpose, Glory and Righteousness of the Eternal  Father is seen in His children and in His dealings with men and nations in all ages. This is the kernel of the Truth—  the Truth ‘in a nutshell’—and the whole purpose of our existence: that every day in our lives we should endeavour  to think, speak and act in such a way that men may see in us what God is like. This sounds an awesome undertaking  and it is, but when we endeavour to see life through God’s eyes and acknowledge that He is right in all His dealings with His creation, then He is pleased to be the Saviour of all such who come unto Him through Christ.

The Apostle Paul in Romans 1:16,17 said, “I  am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; for  it is the power of God unto salvation to every  one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the  Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed  from faith to faith…”. In other words, if we  believe that in the Gospel the righteousness of God is manifest then He is pleased to account righteousness and grant salvation through the power of that  belief (or faith).

Yahweh reveals Himself as a Saviour for He is not willing that any should perish, but that all  should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). For this  very reason He is long-suffering, yet His vengeance  is “just” against those who oppose themselves  and refuse His way of redemption through Christ  Jesus. In this matter also He is right to judge those  who reject His salvation, whether individually or nationally. “For”, says Paul, “the wrath of God is  revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold [hold down or  suppress] the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans  1:18).

Brother Roberts once wrote concerning an address he gave in Australia: “I addressed them on  the recovery of the truth which God had permitted  in these latter days, and on its liability to be lost  again through the inability of complacent minds  of limited grasp to see its wide-lying breadth,  and through their tendency to sympathise more  readily with the human than the Divine bearing  of its doctri¥˝s. The doctrines of the truth embody  the thoughts of God, and the thoughts of God are  higher than the thoughts of man, and, therefore,  the majority of men easily fail to rise to the height  of them, or easily fall from their height when lifted  up to them. The death of Christ has more to do  with the exaltation of God than the salvation of  man. Most men take in the latter [that is, salvation  of man] more easily than the former [exaltation of  God], and quickly get astray through the power  of mere humanitarianism which, while admissible  and beautiful as between man and man, is odious  when brought between man and God.” (Diary of a  Voyage to Australia, page 70)

These are truly very simple concepts. They really only pose the question—is our life God-centred or self-centred? Do we act out of self-preservation or God-elevation? Are our thoughts and actions governed by how God will be honoured (or dishonoured) or how self may be gratified?

God is a Father and those who have covenanted with Him through Christ have become members of His family. Just as any father delights to see a reflection of himself in his offspring so, in an infinitely more intense way, Yahweh looks for the manifestation of those Divine family characteristics in those who are His through the blood of His firstborn. The character, purpose, glory and righteousness of the Father are all embodied in the family name which is the Father’s Name (as with any family). His Name is Yahweh (“He Who Will Be”). His Name is the embodiment of all the things that God is, and all the things that His children will be, when He is glorified in the earth and His Name hallowed in the hearts and minds of men and women everywhere. Some of the characteristics of that Name are exemplified in the titles by which He has chosen to reveal Himself— El (might or strength), Eloah (mighty one), Elohim (mighty ones), Tzur (rock or strength), Adon (Lord or ruler) to name a few. The attributes of Deity revealed in these titles can give us a beautiful and intimate appreciation of the loving, compassionate and altogether righteous One we serve.

Yahweh has revealed Himself to His people through His servants from time to time and through the angelic hosts who move at His command. Our hope is to ultimately become like these immortal servants of the Deity and to manifest His character in loving and obedient service as “kings and priests” bringing the world to an intelligent acceptance of His sovereign will. But this necessitates that we prepare now for that role by familiarising ourselves through His Word with a good understanding of His character and purpose in a close and loving relationship with Him.

There have always been those who have born His Name in performing His will. The judges of Israel were intended to manifest His character in the carrying out of their responsibilities in the nation and before that, Moses was told “Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my Name is in him” (Exodus 23:20,21).

The destruction of Sodom was carried out by “three men” who are variously described in Genesis 18 and 19 as “Yahweh” (chapter 18:1), “the men” (18:16), and whilst “the men” went toward Sodom “Abraham stood yet before Yahweh” (18:22). Then we are told that “there came two angels to Sodom at even”(chapter 19:1), being “the men” of chapter 18:22: and in chapter 19:29 we read that “it came to pass, when God [Elohim] destroyed the cities of the plain, that God [Elohim] remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow…”. By this we understand that the “three men” who came to Abraham were in fact immortal servants of the Deity in various manifestations of His character and will. As “Yahweh” one remained to converse with Abraham: as “angels” or messengers two of them came to Sodom and as “Elohim” (God) or mighty ones they performed the will of Deity in the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. All these were the same three manifesting different aspects of the character of the Father: in appearance they were “men” but in power they were invested with the spirit of Deity to act at His command.

The same concept of manifestation is seen in the Apocalypse where the saints, for example, are described as the four and twenty elders, the redeemed, the Lamb’s wife, the four living ones, the new Jerusalem, the one hundred and forty four thousand and so on. All these terms have reference to the same group of people variously manifesting the purpose of God in symbol. It is really impossible to properly comprehend the message of the Book of Revelation—the Apocalypse (which means “manifestation”)—without an appreciation of the subject of God Manifestation, as we shall see from later articles in this series.

The invitation of Deity to His creatures is: “Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God [El—might or strength], and there is none else. By myself have I sworn, the word is gone forth from my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. Only in Yahweh, shall one say unto me, is righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come, and all they that were incensed against him shall be ashamed” Isaiah 45:22–24 RV, which Paul defines to mean that “every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God” (Romans 14:11). What is it that they will confess? That in Yahweh alone is righteousness and strength. In other words, they will acknowledge the righteousness of God and His omnipotent power to perform His purposes universally.

The Apostle Paul, once again, relates these issues very pertinently to the daily ecclesial life of the believer. In writing to Timothy he says, “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the ecclesia of living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. 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” (1 Tim 3:15–16). The Diaglott renders verse 16 as: “confessedly great, is the secret of piety; He who was manifested in flesh, was justified in spirit, was seen by messengers, was proclaimed among nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory”. “Godliness” is “eusebia” in the Greek and means “a well or rightly directed devotion”. From this we learn that the essence or secret of a rightly directed devotion is to understand how Deity has and will reveal Himself to individuals, in the ecclesia and in the world in order that we may pattern our conduct on that character which we see in the Father and in His glorified Son who perfectly manifested the Father so that “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father”