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Saturday, November 22, 2014


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Preface to Phanerosis 






PAGES 25-29

The chromo lithograph illustrating The Manifestation of Deity in the Flesh, which was the last work of Dr. Thomas, has just been republished; and it may not be out of place to devote a little space to a brief exposition of the matter, as represented in the illustration.

The wonderful divine phenomenon which is the subject of this illustration, and of so much divine testimony in the Scriptures of truth, was by the Father exhibited in the land of Palestine now about 1900 years ago, and continued about the space of 33-1/2 years.

The time had been appointed of the Father: "When the fulness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law" (Gal. 4:4). The angel Gabriel had spoken to the prophet Daniel of this time, as we read in the 9th chapter of Daniel's book. The pictorial representation of this division of time is indicated in the lines at the head of the chart running across the buff-coloured ground against which the converging and diverging rays of light shine. There are "the times of the prophetic oracles" before the manifestation of the Man, Yahweh's fellow, and on the right hand, after his appearing, the "days of the ministry of John and Jesus Christ."

Over all is the superscription in Christ's words: "This is life eternal, to know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus the Christ, whom Thou hast sent." A neglected truth is thus well insisted on; for apart from an intelligent and affectionate understanding of these great truths, eternal life is impossible. It is an apostolic doctrine that ignorance alienates from the life of God (Eph. 4:18), which is but the converse of Christ's own statement. Well placed, therefore, is this headline over all.

The division of the chart into the two portions representing time is also a statement of the truth as against Trinitarianism on the one hand, and Unitarianism on the other. The pre-existence here indicated, and revealed in all the Scriptures, is that of the Father Spirit who created the earth for His good pleasure and glory, and who for it appointed a Head, a King, a Son of God, raised up in Israel by the operation of the Holy Spirit upon a virgin of the house of David. The opposing doctrine of the Apostasy, which finds full and formal expression in Milton's "Paradise Lost," makes the Son the Pre-existence, and represents him as in converse with the Father in heaven in the days of Adam and Eve before the Fall. According to this, Jesus is the manifestation of an eternally pre-existent Son and not of the Father; which is as absurd and impossible as it is unscriptural.


The Sun at the left hand of the chart represents the Father before manifestation in the flesh. The symbol is not unscriptural "For the Lord God is a sun and a shield" (Psa. 84:11). The sun as the proximate source of light and life for things terrestrial is a fitting figure of God, who is Light, and with whom is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5), and who is the great Fountain of life (Psa. 39:9), out of whom are all things (1 Cor. 8:6). Over the Sun is the legend expressive of this doctrine: "From everlasting to everlasting Thou art AIL" (Psa. 90:2). Ail, or El, as it is most frequently transliterated, is the Hebrew word that stands for God in this place. It denotes Power. Power, light, and life, inherent and underived, are the attributes of the Father who is Spirit (John 4:24); The lighter coloured star super-imposed on the Sun is formed of a double square, as it were, the Israelitish associations of which will occur to attentive students of the Mosaic economy, and of the Messianic revelations in the last book of the Bible. The testimony of Paul in 1 Tim 6:16, draws attention to the un-approachable light and glory of the Father in heaven. The Hebrew word transliterated EHYEH, and translated I Will be, is that found in the 3rd chapter of Exodus, 14th verse, where we are told that at the burning bush God said unto Moses, Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, translated in the Authorised Version, I am that I am, but more correctly in the margin of the Revised Version, I will be who I will be. Many years ago, those conversant with Hebrew challenged the translation of the Authorised Version upon the basis of the fact that Ehyeh was found in Hosea 14:5, importing an unmistakable future: thus, "I will be (Ehyeh) as the dew unto Israel." Dr. Thomas' judgment endorsed this, and now many years afterwards, the Revised Version, in the margin, justifies it. The necessities of the case obviously demand it, for the Memorial Name is not merely a reminder of the Father's existence, or of any then existent manifestation of His power, but rather of His purpose in Israel to be manifested in Christ and his brethren as Elohim (Mighty Ones) of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

From the Sun representing the Father before the Manifestation in the Flesh, many rays of light converge upon the central figure of the chart. These are the Spirit and Life Words of the Father in "the times of the prophetic oracles" converging upon the future manifestation of the Father in Jesus, who was "The Word made Flesh." They are affirmative of two great principles -- namely, the absolute and underived life and power of the Father, and His purpose to be manifested in a Son whose name should be Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Father of Eternity, the Prince of Peace, and who should be in the time appointed a Man of War, and by whom the whole earth should be filled with Yahweh's glory.

Beneath the Sun and these converging words is the representation of Moses lifting up the serpent in the wilderness, a type that Jesus appropriated to himself in his discourse with Nicodemus; and that, imports that Jesus, though the manifestation


of the Eternal in Israel, nevertheless partook of flesh and blood in the mortality that came by the serpent suggested sin.

The central figure of the chart represents Jesus in relation to the earth and the Father's purpose, both in his sacrificial and kingly relationship. Overhead is his description by the Father as "The Man, my Fellow." The Hebrew under this is Asher Ehyeh (translated underneath, Who I will be), importing that the Father will be manifested on earth in Christ, personal and multitudinous. This is conveyed also by the line encircling the globe, "The Elohim of the whole earth shall I be called." Elohim is a plural term, and stands for a multitude of mighty ones, the head of whom is Christ. Underneath the earth, and standing, as it were, for the foundation of the royalty to be revealed, is the pictorial representation of the sacrifice of Christ. The symbol of the Cross has become offensive through its use as "the Mark of the Beast"; nevertheless, "the Cross of Christ" has its true and indispensable place in the purpose of God, and the symbol is of necessity here retained as the pictorial exhibition of the truth concerning "Jesus Christ and Him Crucified." In no other way could his voluntary obedience unto death in conformity with the Father's will have been so conveniently represented. The colour (red) is in the Spirit's colouring for sin, "Though your sins be as scarlet." It is blood-colour, appropriately significant of the flesh which was lifted up in sacrifice in Jesus. It corresponds with the brass of the serpent, which also signified the flesh. The monogram I.H.S. stands for Jesus, or the Latin phrase Jesus Hominum Salvator.

On either side of the central figure are divine allusions to Jesus, conveying the truth concerning his relation to God and man. Thus "Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root and Offspring of David," gives us the idea of a Son of God by the Spirit and a Son of Man by Davidic extraction; while the legend, "The veil, that is to say, his flesh," is a brief statement of the truth so often insisted upon by Jesus, that he was the manifestation of the Father in Israel --Emmanuel God with us, God veiled in flesh, as it were; so that, as Jesus said, he that saw him, saw the Father, and not merely a son of David. This is fatal to the antagonistic speculations of those who declare him to have been merely a son of Joseph, and thereby make God a liar.

Radiating from the central figure is the divine "light of life" (John 8:12) condensed from the Father in Him. His words were so evidently superhuman that even his enemies were constrained to say: "Never man spake like this man." In this they bore unwitting testimony to the fact that he was the promised prophet like unto Moses, speaking "God's words." Thus, as Paul afterwards testified, God, who in times past spoke unto the fathers by the prophets, in the last days of the Mosaic economy spoke to Israel by a son (Heb.1). His words are absolutely incomprehensible and inexplicable apart from the reception of the knowledge of "the only


true God and Jesus Christ." Hence all the strife and bloodshed among ignorant professors of Christ's name. The "words of God" that Jesus spoke were such as the Father could not have spoken apart from manifestation in the flesh; and far less could a "son of man" have spoken them apart from the divine origin and paternity that Jesus claimed, and that the Father audibly and visibly attested on Jordan's banks, and by the measureless gift of the Holy Spirit, and also by the inspired testimony of John the Baptist. In the lower right hand corner of the chart this "burning and shining light" figures with retrospective gesture pointing to "the man Yahweh's fellow"; and his words of witness attest the superhuman status of the heavenly "bridegroom" -- "Though born after me he was before me." Jesus himself referred to John's testimony when arguing his own divine origin and power not only to forgive sins on the earth; but herafter to sit in judgment at resurrection for the final blotting out of sins in the bestowal of eternal life (John. 5). He then declared that no man could believe his words who was ignorant and faithless of Moses' writings; and the truth has caused us to realise this intensely. His "hard sayings" are misunderstood by the world because they perceive not the Father, who spoke and wrought in him. The truth has changed all that for us; and though we see not yet all things on earth put under him we see Jesus glorified, as Paul says (Heb. 2). He is King of Israel. He has ascended as he said he would; and he will come again as he has promised. "Blessed is he that watcheth" is a fitting conclusion to this representation of His Spirit and life words.

Dr. Thomas' Explanation

Dr. Thomas' full expositions of the great subject here faintly illustrated are to be found in his treatise on God Manifestation entitled Phanerosis; and in Eureka, his masterly exposition of The Apocalypse, particularly in vol. 1, pp 87-115, in those sections which treat of Deity before manifestation in flesh; Deity manifested in flesh; and Deity manifested in Spirit. To these phenomenally faithful and beautiful writings the "servants of God" of this generation are respectfully directed for help in their study of the Word of His grace.

In a letter relating to this chart written in December 1870, three months before his death, Dr. Thomas wrote: "My health is slowly improving, but my mental energies are still below par. This to me is an indication that the body still requires rest. I am glad to hear you are better. Our mortal bodies are frail, and under continual strain of nerve, brain, or muscle, we will give way at last. The past must suffice for me and you in this state. We cannot always be young. With age weakness will come ...

"Enclosed, I send you a sketch illustrative of the GREAT MYSTERY. It is in the rough. I have a more artistic drawing in my book. This I keep as a copy for the lithographer, if ever I may be


able to publish it. It is thought by those who have seen it to be very beautiful, and to simplify the subject wonderfully. In the upper corner on the left, you will notice the letter I, surrounded by rays of light. See 1 Tim. 6:16, for what is represented: unapproachable light, in which dwells the invisible I. You will also notice that the lines all converge to a point, which is the mouth of the figure whose head is the word 'Who', the visible who; the 'I' manifested in the 'WHO.' From the mouth of the 'Who I will be', all the lines diverge. Between the converging lines are the prophetic sayings of the invisible I; and between the diverging lines from the oral point of the visible Who, are the New Testament oracles concerning him. By comparing the utterances, it will be seen that it is the invisible I who is the speaker throughout.

"The visible Who, the image of 'the invisible God,' you will perceive, is standing upon the earth, His future dominion, under which is the ancient monogram, I.H.S. consisting of the initials of the sentence, Jesus Hominum Salvator, which signifies, Jesus, the Saviour of men. In my original, it has Moses addressing a company of Israelites, in the lower corner of the left, and pointing to the 'I' and the 'Who' as the practical illustration of Deut 6:4. In the lower corner of the right is John the Baptist, pointing to the visible Who I will be, and declaring that 'he was before him'. At the feet of Who is a symbol of Who's relation to Judah, as the lion of the tribe of Judah, the root and offspring of David. If you imagine the human figure removed, the convergence to, and divergence from a common centre, would be destroyed, and the utterances would all be confused and without consistent signification. The flesh is the focus of the invisible I's converging utterances and assumed power, as a vail for the purpose of condemning sin therein; after which, the same power (Ail) converts it into his own substance -- spirit. Take away the converging POWER, indicated by the lines following upon the back of Who's head, and you have an illustration of the mere-manism of the profane vain babblers of our time; blasphemers, who make a mere man affirm that he came down from heaven, and is the equal of God".