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    March 1903

    “The Revelation of God” The Medical Missionary, 12, 3, pp. 61-67.

    ATJ

    ALONZO T. JONES

    II

    WE have seen that, possessed of the mind that is in Satan, and so dwelling in the darkness, man sees the things of God, the things of the creation of God, in directly reverse order. The things that are not in anywise so he sees to be the only things that are really so. And with that mind, and in that darkness, he never can see otherwise. But the gift of Christ has been made, that man might escape from this false mind and its darkness. In the mercy of God, he is called to change his mind, to “let this mind be in you which is also in Christ Jesus.” This change, from the darkness to the light, from the mind of Satan to the mind of Christ, places man where he can again see the creation as it is. And the word of God spoken directly to man is the only means of maintaining this proper standing and relation to God, and to the creation of which he is again a part. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus.” “If any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creation.” And from the darkness unto the light, from the power and mind of Satan to the power and mind of God, Christ alone is the Way. And Christian growth is nothing else than under the brooding power of the Spirit by God, the transformation of the Spirit of God, the transformation of the man by the renewing of his mind, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, where he stands again in perfect unity with God and the creation of which he is a part, and wherein again he shall be able to correctly read the thought of God in the word of God to him directly, and the thought of God also to him through his word in creation. And from the darkness where the light meets him, and from the subverted mind which is supplanted by the true mind, the mind of Christ,—from there unto the standing in his native place in perfect unity with God and the creation, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, the word of God, spoken directly to him, under the brooding power of the Spirit of God, is the true guide. Thus Christ, as the word of God, and the word of God in Christ, is the only way to the correct reading of the word of God in creation.MEDM March 1903, page 61.1

    The necessity of man’s having another than the natural mind in order to do right thinking, is emphasized in Lord’s call, in the words, “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”MEDM March 1903, page 61.2

    As near as any man can come with his own native, natural mind, to thinking correctly concerning God, is no nearer than earth is to heaven. But the expression, “as far as earth is from heaven,” is the very expression of ultimate, infinite distance. Then, since man’s natural thoughts concerning God are as far from being correct as earth is from heaven, so as near as a man can come with his own natural mind to thinking correctly concerning God, is as far as he could possibly get away from it.MEDM March 1903, page 61.3

    The only true thoughts concerning God are the thoughts of God himself. The only true thoughts, then, that any man can have concerning God, are God’s own thoughts. And since these thoughts are as far from man as the heavens are from the earth, the only way that ever a man can possibly get them is for the Lord to give them to him. And the only way in which the Lord can give to a man his thoughts, is for him to speak to the man; for only words express thoughts. And this demands that there shall be a revelation of God, from God direct to man. God has spoken to man, and this in order that man shall know.MEDM March 1903, page 62.1

    Yet to think what God is, and to define or even give shape to his thoughts of what God is, has been one of the chief occupations of man in all ages since sin entered. And the gods which in all ages men have made, are a striking demonstration of the revealed truth of the impotence of the natural mind of man to think correctly on this subject.MEDM March 1903, page 62.2

    Accordingly, God has always forbidden man to think on this subject: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.”MEDM March 1903, page 62.3

    No man in this world could ever have made any graven image or any likeness of God, if he had not first thought upon this subject, and formed in his imagination a mental image. The graven image, or the likeness which man made to be seen with the eyes, was but the reproduction of his idea of God which he had already mentally imaged. Accordingly, when God came down upon Mount Sinai, to speak to the people the great things of his law, he so arranged it that it was impossible for the people to see anything at all of which they could by any possibility make any image or likeness, even mental.MEDM March 1903, page 62.4

    And so it is written, “Ye came near and stood under the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire, unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness. And the Lord spake unto you, out of the midst of the fire, ye heard the voice of the word, but saw no similitude, only ye heard a voice.... Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves, for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the Lord spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire; lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, the likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth; and lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the Lord thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.”MEDM March 1903, page 62.5

    Though the heavenly host of angels, cherubim, and seraphim, and the Lord himself, were all there, yet no sort of similitude or form of any kind was allowed to be seen by any of all the people of Israel,—not even the brightness of his glory; lest, when their eyes should see anything that in any wise reminded them of it, even though it be only the sun or the moon shining in brightness, they should say that this was like it, and should use this as a means of aiding their thoughts in worship; or lest, by thinking upon what they might have seen, they should be led to reproduce their mental image in a form, or likeness, as an aid in worship.MEDM March 1903, page 62.6

    Thus, in the strongest possibly way, the Lord has made it clear that he is not to be worshiped under any human conception. But that they who worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth.MEDM March 1903, page 63.1

    In spirit: in total absence of any form or likeness of any kind whatever, mental or otherwise. For as a matter of fact no form or image can ever be otherwise until it is first mental.MEDM March 1903, page 63.2

    And in truth: in the truth of God, according as that truth is in the word which he has spoken. For if I think of God differently from what he has said; if my thought of him is other than his own thought; and I worship him as that,—or, more exactly, worship that as him,—then I am not worshiping him at at all, but instead am worshiping only my conception or idea of him. But when I worship him in my thought of him, instead of in his thought of him, I simply worship myself instead of him. Therefore, to be a true worshiper of God, I must worship him only in his own thought concerning himself, which, in his truth, he has given to me.MEDM March 1903, page 63.3

    II

    Not only has the Lord, in his word that he spoke from Sinai, excluded all possibility of anybody’s making any image, likeness, or similitude, but in another place, he has beautifully shown the impossibility, in the nature of the case, of anybody conceiving a correct likeness of God. Read carefully and thoughtfully, Isaiah 40:12-25: “Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance.”MEDM March 1903, page 63.4

    “Hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand.” Open your hand as wide as you can, and hold it level, palm upwards. Note the depression in the middle of your hand. That is the hollow of your hand. Fill it with water and see how much it will hold without running over. And all the waters are measured in the hollow of God’s hand as easily as those few drops of water lie in the follow of your hand. Then if only his hand is so great that all the waters lie in the hollow of it, how large is he himself? It is simply impossible for any human mind to conceive of the size that such a hand would have to be. Then if it would be impossible for any human mind to conceive of a true likeness even of the hand of God, how much less a true likeness of himself?MEDM March 1903, page 63.5

    “Meted out the heaven with a span.” The span is the measure from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the second finger. What is the compass of the heaven? Conceive it if you can. Yet the whole compass of the heaven is by him measured simply with the span. Then again, what is the size of that hand? No human mind can conceive of the compass of heaven. Then no human mind can conceive of the compass of the size of that span by which he meted out the heaven. And when no human mind could possibly conceive only the size of the hand, the reach of the span with which he meted out the heaven, how infinitely beyond all reach of human thought is any true conception of the form of God.MEDM March 1903, page 63.6

    Therefore, the pointed question is asked, “To whom then, will ye liken God, or what likeness will ye compare unto him?”MEDM March 1903, page 63.7

    Next, he pictures a workman melting a graven image, and a goldsmith spreading it over with gold, and casting silver chains, or choosing a tree, and seeking a cunning workman to prepare out of it a graven image. Then he asks of such and of others, “Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers, that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in?” And even then the heaven, the very heaven of heavens, cannot contain him. How can it be possible for any finite mind to conceive any likeness of him?MEDM March 1903, page 63.8

    Therefore again he appeals to all, “To whom then, will ye liken me, or shall I be equal, saith the Holy One?”MEDM March 1903, page 64.1

    It is perfectly plain then, that God has made no revelation of himself, as to his exact or even relative form or size or shape. Yet he has revealed himself. Wherein, then?—In character. He began it by revealing himself, as “I AM.” That is existence. But existence only is not enough. Therefore, he extended his revelation to “I AM THAT I AM,” I am that which I am; I am what I am. This is a revelation of both existence and character. Next he enlarged this revelation by proclaiming his name. And his name is the expression of what he is. And in that he said that his name is, “the Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” That is again existence and character, and that only.MEDM March 1903, page 64.2

    Again, it is written: “He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” This again, is a revelation of existence and character.MEDM March 1903, page 64.3

    This is his word to men, his thought as to what he is. And true worship is to receive this thought as it is, in his word; and to worship him for what is expressed in that thought alone. God has revealed himself to men in character only, because this is that which most of all, and first of all, man needs. And in this lies perfect assurance of true worship, and perfect security against all image worship; for it is impossible ever even mentally to image character. In worship, man always becomes conformed to the character of that which he worships. Whosoever worships God according to the word and in the thought God has revealed, will worship him for what he is,—merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin. He who worships God as being that, will by his worship become conformed in holiness of life and character to the image of him who created him; and when the man, in thus worshiping, shall have grown in mind and character unto that perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, then will be rent the dimming veil that is between, and we shall see him “face to face,” and shall know even as we are known. We shall know him then as he knows us now. Our knowledge then will be as full as God’s knowledge of us is now.MEDM March 1903, page 64.4

    And then even we ourselves shall be so far beyond what we are now, that it would be impossible for us now to conceive it, even if it were revealed. Therefore it is not revealed. And accordingly “it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” What we shall be doth not yet appear. But when this does appear, it will be that we shall be like him. Then it is perfectly plain that what he is like doth not yet appear. We cannot conceive what we ourselves shall be. Yet what we shall be is consequent entirely upon our seeing him as he is. It is perfectly plain then that we cannot possibly conceive him as he is: we cannot now “see him” with the mind’s eye, in any mental likeness, similitude, or image, “as he is.” And to conceive him as he is not, and so to worship him, can be nothing but false worship. But he seeks true worshipers; and true worshipers worship him only in spirit and in truth.MEDM March 1903, page 64.5

    The reason then, that man must not make any graven image or likeness or similitude concerning God, is not because God has no form, likeness, or similitude; it is simply because of man’s all-round incapacity rightly to comprehend it or correctly to appreciate it. Therefore, instead of making any revelation in that respect, he reveals to man that concerning himself which man most needs—character; and which received, and worshiped in the truth of that revelation, will bring man to the point in every way in which he will be qualified to know and appreciate all that may ever be revealed when he shall appear, and we shall see him as he is. The worship of him in that which he has revealed is the only true way to man’s ever being capable in any sense, of worshiping him in that which is not revealed. The true worship of him in his character, is the only way in which man can ever become capable of truly worshiping him in his person.MEDM March 1903, page 64.6

    I

    Christ is the Word of God. Being the Word of God, he is the expression of the thought of God. In this, he is the revelation of God. Therefore, it is written: “No man knoweth the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” And this is true in all things. Christ is the revelation of God in creation. He is the revelation of God in redemption. He is the revelation of God in the universe of light. He is the revelation of God in this world of darkness. He is the Word of God, whether that Word be expressed in creation, or in the Bible, or in human flesh, and in all this that which is expressed of God is invariably character.MEDM March 1903, page 65.1

    Before he sinned, man could read this revelation perfectly everywhere and in all things. When he sinned, having received the directly antagonistic mind to that which he had with God, he could not correctly read any of it anywhere. Everything was seen in the reverse. Therefore God’s revelation had to be repeated to the man. Yet under the power of sin mankind went further and further into the dark, and in repeating his revelation to man that revelation had to be given the form of a written word, in order that man might be led back to a knowledge of the thought of God, and to unity with the mind of God. But in spite of this, under the power of sin man went yet further into the dark. The word was not received truly by man. The word was not given its place as the formative power in the life of man. Then, in order to reach man, the revelation of God must be given the shape of humanity itself. The Word was made flesh and dwelt among men.MEDM March 1903, page 65.2

    Thus, Christ, as the Word of God, is the universal revelation of God. Would any man see God? He must look at Christ. And whosoever would see Christ, must look in the place where Christ has appeared. And where is it that Christ has appeared?—In the flesh where man is. Not where man was, but where he is, for though man was made a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor, and was set over the works of God’s hands with all things put under his feet so entirely that God left nothing that was not put under him, yet that is not where man is. He did not remain where God thus put him. He fell. And whereas he was at first only a little lower than the angels, he fell to a condition far below them, to a condition of sin, of suffering, and of death. There is where man is.MEDM March 1903, page 65.3

    And now Christ, the Word of God, as the revelation of God, taking the form of humanity where man is so that man cannot fail to see him, must be revealed thus where man is. And so it is written, “It became him, for whom, are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.... Wherefore it behooved him to be made in all things like unto his brethren, that he might be merciful, and a faithful high priest in things pertaining to God.” And therefore it stands written, “We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that he, by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”MEDM March 1903, page 65.4

    Would you see God? Look at Jesus, for he is Emanuel,—God with us. Would you see God? Look at Jesus, for he is “God manifest in the flesh.” Would you see God? Look for him where he has appeared closest to man,—in humanity, all around you, everywhere. Indeed, he identified himself with humanity. Christ, who is God manifest, the thought of God expressed, is the last Adam; and in this fact of his having become the last Adam, he is just as certainly allied to, and identical with, every human being as is the first Adam.MEDM March 1903, page 65.5

    Whoever looks for Christ will see him. This never fails. Then when I look for Christ in the flesh, Christ in the other man, Christ in you, I shall see him wherever I look. And when I see him wherever I look, I shall be always beholding him, and worshiping him. And the worshipers always become conformed to the worshiped. “By beholding we become changed.” In always beholding him, I shall become like him, and so I, with open face, thus beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, am changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord.MEDM March 1903, page 66.1

    We then, seeing him in humanity everywhere, will treat every human being as we should treat him; for it is only him that we see. And when you thus treat every human being as you would treat Christ, because it is Christ that you are looking for and that you see, then the other man too will see God manifest in the flesh; he, too, will see Christ in you the hope of glory. He will see the gospel, and he, thus seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, will also be changed into the image of the Lord; he will become like Christ, and always so beholding, will continually be changing into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord. And so, “we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord.” Thus, in seeing only Christ in the other man, we make it that only Christ shall be seen in ourselves. In seeking only for the good in the other man, we make it that only good shall be seen in ourselves. In seeking the advancement of the other man, we find ourselves advanced.MEDM March 1903, page 66.2

    And this is the gospel: the emptying of self. And this is the gospel: the emptying of self. Accordingly, it is written, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.... who emptied himself.” In making himself the least that he might advance and exalt lost mankind the most, he himself is most advanced and most exalted. Of the holy angels, it has truly been written that they find their supreme joy in helping sinful human beings to a nearness to Christ such as they themselves can never know. And in thus helping sinful human beings, they themselves are advanced to a nearness to Christ, and are exalted to a standard of life which, without this, they never could know.MEDM March 1903, page 66.3

    This is the only way of good. Therefore it is that Jesus, who, as the sole revelation of God is the only Way, when he in the flesh was anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power, went about doing good.MEDM March 1903, page 66.4

    And this is ever the only way. This is the way to-day. This is only Christianity. This is only medical missionary work. For when he, anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power, went about doing only good, this included “healing all that were oppressed of the devil.” And all this, only because as the consequence—that “God was with him.”MEDM March 1903, page 66.5

    Would you do good to Jesus? Would you help him if you had a chance? In needy, suffering humanity you can see him, for “it became him for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through suffering;” and “we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death.”MEDM March 1903, page 66.6

    Then there is no lack of opportunity to do good to Jesus and to help him, for he is one of mankind—“a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” He who sanctifies and those whom he sanctifies, are all of one, “For which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.” And of your kindness to the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the poor, and the prisoner, he says: “Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye did it unto me.” And of any neglect of all these he says: “Inasmuch as ye did it not unto one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.”MEDM March 1903, page 66.7

    Here is the way to see God, and to know him by personal acquaintance. And so, becoming one with him there, it is easy to see him both there and everywhere else—in his word, written in the Bible, and in his word expressed in creation.MEDM March 1903, page 66.8

    And so to mankind, where mankind is, and as mankind is, the gospel is preached: “God manifest in the flesh,” “Christ in you the hope of glory.” Man having gone far away from the word of God as expressed directly to him and to him in creation, having gone far away from the word as expressed in writing, that word came to mankind in the flesh, where mankind is, “the Word was made flesh.” This is the final revelation of God, and as such is the key and the open door to the finding of the revelation of God in the written word, in the word expressed in creation, and in the word expressed direct to the mind and heart of man. This is the way of the redemption of man, and of his complete restoration to his originally intended place of unity with God and with all the creation which the Heavenly Father has produced.MEDM March 1903, page 67.1

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