Christ Is The Mystery Of God Revealed
God, all throughout the Old Testament did not have a body, but appeared to the people in different forms, such as the Burning Bush to Moses, the Cloud by day, and the Pillar of Fire by night, to the children of Israel. Though He sent His angels to many who appeared as men, but no one ever saw God in physical form until Jesus Christ was born. John 1:18 says, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him”.
GOD IS A SPIRIT
The Scripture states that, “God is a Spirit; and they that worship Him, must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth” (John 4:24). God hath, before the foundation of the world, already foreseen the fall of man by the transgression of Adam and Eve, and He required a Perfect Atonement, a sacrificial Lamb, to redeem men from their fallen estate. Hebrews 9:22 states that, “Almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without the shedding of blood is no remission”.
Therefore, it takes blood to pay the penalty for sin. Yet no man, no angel, no priest, nor animal, is ever worthy to redeem man’s fallen estate. So God Himself alone must do it. He had to do it in order to show that He alone is both Saviour and Redeemer. In Isaiah 45:22, God said, “Look unto Me, and be ye saved, for I AM God, and there is none else.” In Hosea 13:4 He also said that, “Thou shalt know no God but Me; for there is NO SAVIOUR BESIDE ME” - the One and only eternal God.
But God knew that He, as God, could not die and bleed in the Spirit, for a Spirit has no flesh and bones. His own law required blood for an atonement. So in order for God to fulfill His redeeming grace, He had to put on a veil of flesh, in order to taste death and pay the penalty for His own law, to justify the ungodly; and to fulfill Romans 3:28, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph.2:8,9).
GOD MANIFESTED IN FLESH
And thus, God fulfilled His plan of salvation, the fulfillment of 1 Timothy 3:16 which states that: “And without controversy, great is the mystery of Godliness, God was manifest in the flesh.” When was God manifested in flesh? It was when Jesus Christ was born through a woman; without any sexual act - God Himself taking the form of a man.
Jesus Christ was the FLESH of God, none other than God Himself creating a body of His own. That fleshly body was called the “SON”, while the Spirit indwelling that body was the “FATHER”. That’s the reason why He was called “Emmanuel”, meaning “God WITH us”, God dwelling with men. “Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God. He took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of Man” (Phil. 2:6).
Philip, the apostle, one time said unto Jesus (John 14:8-9), “Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.” And Jesus answered him saying, “ Have I been with you so long and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath SEEN ME hath seen the Father.” “I and MY Father are ONE” (John 10:30).
Apostle Paul says this about Jesus (Collosians 2:9-10), “For in Him all the FULLNESS of the Godhead dwells BODILY, and ye are complete in Him, which is the Head of all principality and power”...“In Whom we have redemption through His BLOOD, even the forgiveness of sins : Who is the IMAGE of the INVISIBLE GOD... And He is before all things, and by Him all things consists” (Collosians 1:14,15,17). JESUS, therefore, is the express image of the unseen God. And man could have never seen God except through Jesus Christ.
THREE DISPENSATION OF THE ONE GOD
In the Old Testament, God was called “God ABOVE Us” - in the Fatherhood dispensation. God dwelling in the heavenlies, where no man could ever touch Him.
When the the time for the Sonship dispensation came, fulfilling the prophesy of Isaiah 9:6 which says, “For to us a child is born, for to us a SON is given: the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty GOD, and everlasting FATHER, Prince of Peace.” These all pertains to the FLESH of God - JESUS, being God Himself becoming Emmanuel, which being interpreted “God WITH us” - the God Who can now be touched by the feeling of our infirmities. It was God also fulfilling Isaiah 53:5, “But He (God) was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him: and by His stripes we are healed” - all fulfilled and completed at the Cross of Calvary.
In these last days, after Jesus has been resurrected and glorified, God has sent us back His Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to indwell every believer. Thus, we are now living in the HOLY GHOST Dispensation.
As 1 Cor. 6:19-20 states, “What? Know ye not that your body is the TEMPLE of the Holy Ghost which is IN YOU, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify GOD IN YOUR BODY, and in your spirit which are God’s.”
JESUS is that self-same Holy Spirit; as He has attested in John 14:18, saying, “I will not leave you comfortless, “I ” (Personal Pronoun) WILL COME TO YOU.” “I will be with you, even IN YOU until the end of the world.”
Galatians 4:6 states, “And because ye are sons, God has sent forth the SPIRIT of His SON into your hearts, crying Abba, Father.” Jesus’ own Spirit is now “God IN Us”, the “Hope of Glory” (Colossians 1:27). It is the SELF-SAME GOD all the time, never changing His power, just changed His form from the heavenly to the earthly, and back again as the Great Spirit, after having fulfilled His great redemptive story.
He was “GOD ABOVE US” in His Fatherhood dispensation; “GOD WITH US” in His Sonship dispensation; and now “GOD IN US” in the Holy Spirit dispensation. Jesus said, “ I AM ALPHA AND OMEGA, the Beginning and the Ending, saith the Lord, Which IS, WHICH WAS, and WHICH IS TO COME, THE ALMIGHTY” (Rev.1:8) - ONE GOD in three dispensations.
JESUS IS BOTH MAN AND GOD
Jesus, talking to the Jews, said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he was glad.” Then said the Jews unto Him, ‘thou art not yet fifty years old and hast thou seen Abraham?’ Jesus said unto them, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:56-58). Who was the great “I AM”? Remember the burning fire that talked with Moses on the holy mountain? That was the “I AM”, the self-same Jesus speaking to the Jews. They could not see that Jesus was their own God VEILED IN FLESH.
“The Jews answered him saying, “For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that Thou, being man, makest Thyself God” (John 10:33). They failed to see that He was the Emmanuel - both MAN and GOD. He also is the WORD that became FLESH and dwelt amongst us (John 1:1,14).
JESUS certainly was a man weeping at the grave of Lazarus. But when He shouted, “Lazarus, come forth!”, and a dead man, four days and stinking, arose and lived again - that was more than a MAN! Who can raise the dead but God alone.
He was a man hungry that night looking on a tree for something to eat. But when He took five bread and two fishes and feed five thousand - that was more than a man. That was the creator, JEHOVAH!
He was a man laying on the ship that night, tired and asleep, while the waves come up. But once he arose and rebuked the winds and the waves and said, “Peace be still!”. That was more than a man. That was God Who can control all nature.
It was a man crying for mercy at the cross, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” But on Easter morning, when He broke the seals of death, hell and grave, and rose up again and said, “I AM HE that was dead, and behold, I AM ALIVE FOREVERMORE!” Who was that? That was the same God Who also said, “ I have power to lay my life down, and raise it up again” (John 10:18).
“I CAME FROM GOD, I GO BACK TO GOD”
Remember that after His death, burial and resurrection, Jesus ascended up into the heavens. And when SAUL of Tarsus was on His road to Damascus to persecute the Christians (Read Acts 9:1-5), a BIG LIGHT, a PILLAR of FIRE struck him, and he asked, “LORD, who are You?” SAUL knew that It was the same Pillar of FIRE that appeared to Moses, but that Pillar of FIRE answered him, saying, “I AM JESUS, whom thou persecutest.” See, He had TURNED BACK, exactly back to THE SAME FORM before He took on a tabernacle of FLESH - the Pillar of FIRE that met Moses in the wilderness.
Remember, It was the SAME Pillar of Fire that came to PETER that night and loosed him out of the prison cell (Read Acts 12:5-7). That SAME Pillar of Fire (Cloven Tongues of Fire) appeared on the Day of PENTECOST and set on each of those at the upper room, dividing Himself, giving part of His Spirit among His church (Acts 2).
Peter declared in Acts 2:36, “Let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that SAME JESUS, whom ye have crucified, BOTH LORD AND CHRIST”. There He is - LORD (Fatherhood), JESUS (Sonship), CHRIST (Anointed Holy Ghost) - The LORD JESUS CHRIST, the complete manifestation of the ONE TRUE GOD.
Finally, consider this: Who was the FATHER of Jesus? Matthew 1:18 says, “She (Mary) was found with child of the HOLY GHOST.” But Jesus Himself claimed that GOD was His FATHER. Therefore, God the Father and God the Holy Ghost make the Father and the Spirit ONE, OR ELSE JESUS HAD TWO FATHERS. But notice also that Jesus said that “I and My FATHER ARE ONE”, NOT TWO. That makes ONE GOD, NOT THREE.
The entire Bible does not say a thing about a First or Second or Third Person in a ONE GOD. The mystery is found in 1 Timothy 3:16: “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”. The ONE TRUE GOD was manifest in the FLESH. That’s how SIMPLE it is. GOD CAME IN A HUMAN FORM. That didn’t make Him another God. He was GOD, THE SAME GOD.
If you cannot understand this TRUTH of the Godhead, but refute it, Jesus said that you are still living in SIN; for He said in John 8:24, “For if ye believe NOT that I AM HE (God), ye shall die in your sins”. “He that believeth not the SON shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).
JESUS IS JEHOVAH MADE FLESH
JEHOVAH of the Old Testament is JESUS of the New Testament. That is the great MYSTERY of the Godhead. NOT THREE GODS, but THREE DISPENSATIONS and three OFFICES of the same ONE GOD. Never can we find any Scripture that declares that there are THREE GODS in the Holy Writ. For GOD Himself declared in Isaiah 45:21 that, “There is NO GOD BESIDE ME; a just God and Saviour, THERE IS NONE BESIDE ME.” JESUS confirmed this in Mark 12:29 saying, “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is ONE LORD”. It was JEHOVAH GOD condescending Himself from His heavenly estate to an earthly body He called JESUS, fulfilling His sovereign purpose of becoming Saviour, Redeemer and Healer by shedding His OWN BLOOD as the Lamb of God who shall take away the sins of the world.
“Of Whom as concerning the FLESH, CHRIST came, Who is OVER ALL, GOD Blessed Forever” (Romans 9:5). AMEN.
(Excerpts from the teachings of Rev. William Marrion Branham)